Cavendish second on track return

Britain’s Mark Cavendish finished second on his return to the track at the International Belgian Open in Gent.

Racing in Friday’s 15km scratch event, Cavendish was in a five-man group that lapped the field and he led on the final lap but was pipped to the line.

His team-mate Owain Doull finished sixth and the duo will team up for the two-man madison on Saturday.

Cavendish, 28, is racing in the event to give himself a chance of competing on the track at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Cavendish on the road

Cavendish won the 25th Tour de France stage of his career during this year’s race, putting him level with Andre Leducq and behind only Eddy Merckx (34) and Bernard Hinault (28)

By riding in Gent, he has scored points that make him eligible to ride in a World Cup event. From there, he will attempt to secure a place at the World Championships and then the Olympics.

Cavendish has not decided whether he will race on the track in Rio, but

told Cycling Weekly: 

“At least doing this gives me the option.

“I’m not saying I’m doing anything. I might not do anything ever again on the track. But when I found out about the rule change [meaning riders must qualify for World Cup events], I thought I better do one in case I want to do the track.”

Prior to three days’ training at the Manchester Velodrome this week, Cavendish had not ridden on the track in more than a year and it is the first time he has represented Britain in the discipline since the 2009 World Championships in Poland.

“The scratch was primarily a bit of a warm-up for the madison,” he said.

“I felt all right. Ignoring the result, I got what I wanted out of it.”

Cavendish won the world madison titles in 2005, with Rob Hayles, and 2008, with Sir Bradley Wiggins.

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