23 July 13:00 (BST)

CAVENDISH aims to pedal on road to gold for Britain

GLASGOW - British Cycling are confident Mark CAVENDISH will be back in the saddle at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and will target the road race gold medal.

CAVENDISH's season has been marred by a series of crashes, and he was eliminated from the Tour de France after finishing outside the time limit on stage 11 in the Alps.

Despite those setbacks, he has been named in Great Britain's initial long list for the road race. Now the team believe he will be included when the rider line-up is finalised for the race, which takes placeĀ on 12 August.

"We are very confident that Mark will be at the European Championships and he is certainly focused on Glasgow," British Cycling's performance director Stephen PARK (GBR) said.

"He is already back training after being forced out of the Tour de France, but that hasĀ given him an extra week or so to recover before the Championships.

"There is still a bit of time before the road team is finalised and we know which key people will be there. Hopefully Mark will be one of them."

PARK said CAVENDISH will not be content just to turn up in Glasgow. "Mark really feels he has the form to challenge for the victory," he said.

CAVENDISH won the world road race title in 2011, but this September's UCI World Road Championships course around Innsbruck in Austria is considered to have too many hills for the sprint specialists.

The looped course around Glasgow city centre on the final day of the European Championships should be more to his liking, and it is where he won his first national road race title in 2013.

"The course looks like it will produce a sprint finish, which should suit him more than the worlds course, which is very hilly," PARK said.

"Mark likes the course and has already had success there, so I'm sure he's confident of doing well again.

"What is refreshing about the senior British riders is that if they feel they are not in the form to perform they are willing to step down and let another rider take their place."

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