British riders hold all aces

Four days after celebrating on the Champs Elysees, British riders are still buzzing from a monumental Tour de France campaign and, beaming with confidence, look to ride the crest to kick start their Olympic campaign in style.  

Four years after winning eight Olympic cycling gold medals, seven of them on the track, Britain have taken road racing by storm with Wiggins claiming the Tour title in a British one-two ahead of Chris Froome. 

On Saturday, world champion Cavendish, backed by what Team GB riders hail as the "best British Olympic road race ever assembled", will be the favourite for the Olympic road race on the 250-km (155 miles) course starting from The Mall in London.  
Four of the five riders in Team GB won a stage on the Tour de France this year, including Cavendish taking the last two sprint stages by decimating his rivals.

"It's difficult to calibrate anything like that but it (the Tour de France campaign)
gives the whole team a lift," team principal David Brailsford, who oversaw Team Sky's Tour campaign, told reporters at Foxhills, a quiet countryside retreat in Surrey on Thursday.

Brailsford paid a visit to the British track team, and Team Sky's performance on the Tour was the main item of discussion. "They're all just buzzing from it, the riders themselves, the sprinters, Chris Hoy, Vickie (Pendleton), all the pursuit team they're all on a high from it," he said.

"We will be relishing to carry the momentum from the Tour. They haven't switched off. It captured a lot of people's imagination and raised the interest in cycling, it's the perfect way to step into the Olympic arena and get the first medal on the first day,’’ Brailsford explained.

"We're buzzing," admitted Cavendish, who believes he is part of a "dream team" and revealed he considered quitting the Tour de France after a gruelling stage in the Alps. "If we want to win this bike race we could not be in a better situation,’’ he added.

Britain are so confident they can execute their plan that they have not thought of any plan B should Cavendish have a bad day. "He's plan A and the rest of the alphabet," said Brailsford.

Wiggins will make sure everything goes according to plan as he is expected to "exhaust himself" to help Cavendish win the gold medal after having the world champion at his service during the Tour, according to Brailsford.

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