Cycling

Great Britain's Mark Cavendish is well-placed at he halfway stage of the omnium.

Mark Cavendish has medal in sights with Rio spot on the line

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Football News
24/7

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Mark Cavendish will ride for Track Cycling World Championships gold and a place at the Rio Olympics on Saturday's fourth day in London.

The 30-year-old from the Isle of Man was seventh at the halfway point of the men's omnium, but just 18 points behind leader Fernando Gaviria, after finishing second to the Colombian in the elimination race on Friday night.

Cavendish, 26 times a Tour de France stage winner and the 2011 road world champion, is bidding to prove his capability of securing the Olympic medal which has proved so elusive in his illustrious career so far and is well-placed ahead of the final three of six disciplines.

Saturday's disciplines are the flying lap and one-kilometre time-trial before the concluding points race, which is arguably the strongest of Cavendish's repertoire.

British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer said: "If it remains (tight) going into the points race there's a lot of people in contention and you can't afford to heavily target one guy, because there's plenty of others in contention."

Britain already have twice the number of medals as they won in 2015, with six, after Jon Dibben claimed a sensational gold in the non-Olympic points race by winning the final two sprints.

It was the third British medal on Friday after bronzes for Joanna Rowsell Shand, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Ciara Horne in the team pursuit and Andy Tennant in the non-Olympic individual pursuit.

Like Cavendish, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner were well-placed to add to the tally in the sprint after reaching the quarter-finals.

Olympic champion Kenny faces Sam Webster of New Zealand in the last eight and Skinner, who beat defending champion Gregory Bauge of France in round two, meets Russia's Denis Dmitriev.

Trott begins her omnium campaign, bidding for her second gold of the championships after winning Britain's first in the scratch race on Thursday.

Dibben claimed Britain's second title and his first world champion's rainbow jersey after a late surge in the 160-lap (40-kilometres) points race.

The 22-year-old from Southampton accrued 48 points - the same score as Austria's Andreas Graff - but took gold as he crossed the finish line first.

Dibben, who is a potential rival for Cavendish for the Olympic omnium spot in Rio, was thrilled.

He said: "To win a world title in your home country - it doesn't get much better. It's unbelievable.

"I knew what I had to do 14 or 15 laps out. The Austrian was on my wheel and I knew I had to beat him. I didn't think about anything else. I was pretty confident in my sprint and I just had to hold my nerve."

Rowsell Shand vowed Britain would take the four-rider, 4km team pursuit to the next level after responding from a disappointing qualifying ride to claim a podium place.

A disjointed performance on Thursday meant Britain could finish third at best - and they delivered on Friday to claim a podium place behind gold medallists the United States.

Britain's time of four minutes 16.540 seconds in the ride-off for third place was the fastest of the final round.

Rowsell Shand said: "We've got five months' hard work and there's five teams in the world really pushing each other with America, Canada, us, New Zealand and the Aussies.

"It's going to be one of the best events of the Games. Watch out, we're going to be back going for that gold."

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