Tag Archives: sprinters

Mark Cavendish takes overall lead inTour of Qatar

Cavendish claims back-to-back stage wins to take overall lead in Tour of Qatar

PUBLISHED:

14:54 GMT, 6 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 6 February 2013

British racer Mark Cavendish today claimed back-to-back stage wins and the overall lead at the Tour of Qatar.

The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider won the 160km route from Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, which is the longest of the race.

Stage success: Mark Cavendish on the podium after claiming a second consecutive stage win on the Tour of Qatar

Stage success: Mark Cavendish on the podium after claiming a second consecutive stage win on the Tour of Qatar

Yellow jersey: The win today, on the longest stage of the event from Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, earned Cavendish the overall lead

Yellow jersey: The win today, on the longest stage of the event from Camel Race Track to Al Khor Corniche, earned Cavendish the overall lead

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man, who quit Team Sky late last year, beat Holland's Barry Markus and Italian Andrea Guardini in the battle of the sprinters to claim the Golden Jersey after the peloton reeled in the leading breakaway group by 146kms.

Cavendish stayed clear of a crash in the closing stages to cross ahead of Vacansoleil-Dcm racer Markus with Astana Pro Team's Guardini in third.

Number One: Cavendish, of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, celebrates crossing the finish line in first

Number One: Cavendish, of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, celebrates crossing the finish line in first

Delighted: The stage wins have left Cavendish well placed to win the event overall

Delighted: The stage wins have left Cavendish well placed to win the event overall

The victory, and the accompanying 10-second time bonus, saw Cavendish take the overall lead by two seconds from American Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing.

The fifth stage of the Tour of Qatar runs over 154km from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal.

Cavendish felt his results in Qatar back up the decision to part company with Team Sky, who helped drive Bradley Wiggins on to success at the Tour de France.

'I am really, really happy right now. Three wins already, shows me, and shows [team manager] Patrick Lefevere, that I made the right move to Omega Pharma-Quick-Step,' Cavendish said.

'I get along really well with the guys already, and we have a good ambience with the team. I hope this can continue and we can keep getting good results this year.'

Mark Cavendish on Team Sky exit and Bradley Wiggins

Cavendish: Playing second-fiddle to Wiggins and broken promises forced me to quit Sky

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 2 November 2012

Mark Cavendish has claimed broken promises ahead of this year's Tour de France forced him to quit Team Sky.

The 27-year-old said he was left feeling like a 'back-up rider' as Bradley Wiggins went on to claim a historic yellow-jersey success.

Cavendish, who moved to Omega Pharma-Quickstep last month, believes he could have also have captured the sprinters' green jersey and fulfil an ambition he thought Sky had held when he signed.

Walking away: Mark Cavendish quit Team Sky over broken promises

Walking away: Mark Cavendish quit Team Sky over broken promises

But the Manxman believes dreams of a Tour double were put on hold in the lead-up to the race as Sky instead focused on Wiggins.

'We didn't achieve what I thought we were setting out to achieve at the start of the season,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

'Sky should have taken both jerseys. We could have done that without any risk or detriment to the yellow jersey. It's frustrating.'

Cavendish, who won his only Tour green jersey last year, admitted Wiggins' success should always have been Sky's primary objective.

Second-fiddle: Cavendish admits he did not enjoy playing back-up to Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France

Second-fiddle: Cavendish admits he did not enjoy playing back-up to Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France

But while he was proud to be part of a famous summer for British cycling he suspected it would be his last with Sky after one of his support riders, Juan Antonio Flecha, was dropped from the Tour team.

'It was then, on the eve of the Tour, that I realised the promise I had signed to Sky on wasn't rally a promise,' he said.

'I was a back-up rider. At the end of the day we weren't going for the two jerseys at all.

'It wasn't a failure, and I was very proud to be part of a British yellow-jersey winning team with Brad, but it wasn't the ultimate either.'

Yohan Blake overshadows Usain Bolt in Diamond League in Lausanne

Blake sends message to Bolt with third-fastest 100m time in history in Lausanne

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UPDATED:

21:26 GMT, 23 August 2012

Yohan Blake ran his quickest 100 metres in Lausanne to go level with American Tyson Gay as the second fastest man of all time.

Blake's time of 9.69sec in the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne matched Gay’s time from 2009 and is bettered only by his training partner Usain Bolt.

Gay was second in 9.83sec but there was a metre and a half between him and the Jamaican.

The Beast: Jamaica's Yohan Blake celebrates after winning the men's 100m race in Lausanne

The Beast: Jamaica's Yohan Blake celebrates after winning the men's 100m race in Lausanne

Can't catch me: Blake (right) beats American Tyson Gay (left) to the finishing line

Can't catch me: Blake (right) beats American Tyson Gay (left) to the finishing line

Blake will not be in Birmingham to compete at the Diamond League meeting on Sunday after being 'insulted' with an offer of only $40,000 to race.

He will have earned more than three times as much for Thursday night's fastest ever 100m in the Pontaise Olympic Stadium.

Blake bowed his head on his victory lap to his friend Bolt, who had been watching with other sprinters preparing for the subsequent 200m. Bolt won that at a canter in 19.58.

Strike a pose: Blake joins his pal Usain Bolt to celebrate their victories in the Diamond League

Strike a pose: Blake joins his pal Usain Bolt to celebrate their victories in the Diamond League

At a canter: Bolt crosses the finishing line to win the 200m in front of Jason Young and Nickel Ashmeade

At a canter: Bolt crosses the finishing line to win the 200m in front of Jason Young and Nickel Ashmeade

Round the bend: Bolt is flanked by Warren Weir (left) and Wallace Spearman on his way to victory

Round the bend: Bolt is flanked by Warren Weir (left) and Wallace Spearman on his way to victory

Bolt declines to compete in Britain outside of the Olympics because tax laws would cost him more than he would be paid. Blake will also stay away because he is not paid enough.

The outstanding British performer was Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, who equalled Steve Smith’s British record of 2.37 metres to finish third behind Barshim Ahmed, who jumped 2.39m, and Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov, who had fewer failures in clearing 2.37m.

Lawrence Okoye may have taken a step closer to deciding not to abandon athletics for rugby union when he was runner-up to world No 2 Gerd Kanter with a throw of 65.27m, the sixth competition this year in which he has exceeded the world-class distance of 65m.

Too quick: Ryan Bailey, Nesta Carter and Jaysuma Saidy Ndure can't keep pace with Blake

Too quick: Ryan Bailey, Nesta Carter and Jaysuma Saidy Ndure can't keep pace with Blake

Centre of attention: Olympic 100m silver medallist Blake was top dog in the absence of Usain Bolt

Centre of attention: Olympic 100m silver medallist Blake was top dog in the absence of Usain Bolt

Another fine British performance came
from Perri Shakes-Drayton, who missed the Olympic 400m hurdles final due
to hamstring trouble before the semi-final.

She
was third in 53.83sec behind Jamaicans Kaliese Spencer and Melaine
Walker. Pole vaulter Steve Lewis produced the second highest clearance
of his career, 5.80, when he took third place.

London 2012 Olympics: Tyson Gay lauds "phenomenal" Adam Gemili

Sky's the limit for Gemili, says Gay as sprint star lauds 'phenomenal' display

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UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 12 July 2012

American Tyson Gay predicted Britain's Adam Gemili will become one of the greatest sprinters of all time after his 'phenomenal' victory in the world junior championships.

Gemili, 18, stormed to victory in Barcelona on Wednesday night, clocking a new personal best and championship record of 10.05 seconds, making him the fastest British junior in history ahead of Dwain Chambers (10.06secs).

European champion Christophe Lemaitre is the only European athlete to have run quicker than Gemili all season, and former triple world champion Gay was suitably impressed by the teenager's performance.

Record breaker: Gemili smashed the championship record en route to gold

Record breaker: Gemili smashed the championship record en route to gold

'Phenomenal. It was phenomenal,' said Gay, 29, the second fastest man of all time behind Usain Bolt.

'Maybe I can get some tips from him because of the great way he executed (the race).

'He had a great drive phase, came up patient; he did a lot of things I'm working on which I don't know why it's so hard for me to get. He nailed it, man. And he has a lot more potential in the 200m.

Rising star: Gay has tipped Gemili for the top

Rising star: Gay has tipped Gemili for the top

'At 18, that's quite impressive. I think he's going to be around for a while, I think he's going to be one of the greatest sprinters of all time, watching that race. He done it at the big show and that's where it counts.'

Gemili only started concentrating fully on athletics at the start of the year after being a promising footballer previously on the books of Chelsea and Dagenham and Redbridge.

And asked what had impressed him most about the Kent athlete's display, Gay added: 'First of all, he's just started running. That's probably more impressive than anything, for him to pick up the start, the reaction, the drive phase, the finish, in a year. It wasn't perfect but it was damn near.

'For him to do that in a year shows he is a fast learner. And to be running track you have to be a quick learner. You have to come out the blocks, keep focused, react, keep your head down, all at one time in the big show. For him to be able to do that shows he has some talent.

Centre of attention: Gay is the second fastest sprinter of all time

Centre of attention: Gay is the second fastest sprinter of all time

'He has to keep what he's doing, keep listening to his coach, don't change nothing. Don't listen to all the hype. Just carry on with what you're doing.

'For this next four years I don't think people should look for him to break the world record but for him to maintain and get better.

'The time he ran is great for his age. If he goes 9.99 next year, then 9.92 and then the 9.8s in a steady progression, that's what he's capable of doing as long as he stays healthy.'

Gemili's coach had previously expressed concern about the teenager running in the Olympics, fearing he might never recover from getting burnt out in the 'cauldron' of the Games.

Flying the flag: The British star set a new personal best on Wednesday

Flying the flag: The British star set a new personal best on Wednesday

However, Gay believes Gemili is fearless after seeing him train in Florida, where he has indulged in a bit of friendly 'trash talk' with the Briton and nicknamed him Drake, apparently due to his resemblance to the Canadian rapper.

'I think he's tough man, he just needs experience,' added Gay, who joked he was running 10.46 seconds as an 18-year-old.

'As long as keeps humble, and keeps working hard, I think the sky's the limit for him.

'I don't think it (the 100m final in London) is too much too soon because I think anything can happen. I just think he has to continue what he's doing. You tweak a few things but you don't change nothing.

'He's still rough, he's still new to all this so I don't think you should throw a lot at him. I think he's going to get a lot of attention but as long as he understands and has a good team around him, I think he'll be a great athlete for the future.'

British team captain Dai Greene was also hugely impressed by Gemili's performance, saying: 'I don't know too much about sprinting technicalities but I know he won convincingly and ran a PB. It was really impressive.

'It's nice to have someone running so well at such a young age and he seems to have a good mentality as well. I don't think anyone has a bad word to say about him which is very refreshing.

'He looked very laid back, I don't think he realised the magnitude of what he was doing maybe. I wasn't even good enough to qualify for world juniors, never mind win one.

'He did fantastically well and hopefully he can keep pushing over the next few years and really improve as a senior but he's had a fantastic year. Regardless of what happens at the Olympics he's already exceeded all expectation I think.'

London 2012 Olympics: Adam Gemili to compete in 100m

Golden boy Gemili grabs chance to race Bolt at London Olympics

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 26 June 2012

Teenage sprinter Adam Gemili has confirmed he does plan to compete at the London Olympics.

The 18-year-old was on Tuesday
entered for the 100 metres, but not the 200m, at the World Junior
Championships in Barcelona next month, the clearest indication yet that
he will take up his guaranteed place at the Games.

Flying the flag: Gemili is the only British sprinter to have automatically qualified for the 100m

Flying the flag: Gemili is the only British sprinter to have automatically qualified for the 100m

Gemili,
who will be hot favourite for gold at the championships which run from
July 10-15, finished second to Dwain Chambers at the Olympic trials at
the weekend to seal his place on the team for London.

The
former footballer has exploded on to the scene this year and leads the
UK rankings with a time of 10.08 seconds, but his coach Michael Afilaka
revealed on Sunday he was not sure the athlete was mentally ready for
the Games, claiming he was an 'emotional wreck' after the trials.

Afilaka admitted Gemili wanted to compete in London and the teenager revealed it was his intention to do so.

He
told BBC Radio Kent: 'My plan is to go to the Olympics and compete with
the world's top sprinters and not get beaten too badly.'

He added: 'I've got two weeks until the World Juniors so I'm just going to get my head down and train hard for that.

'That was my aim for this year until I ran 10.08secs and the Olympics became a possibility.

'After that it's all focused on the Olympics.'

Double time: Gemili will race at junior World Championships and Olympics

Double time: Gemili will race at both World Junior Championships and Olympics

Gemili, who was on the books of
Chelsea, Reading and Dagenham and Redbridge until he decided to
concentrate on athletics in January and will also compete in the relay
in Barcelona, is part of a 43-strong Aviva Great Britain & Northern
Ireland team.

The fact he is only running in one individual event, rather than two, is a clear indication he will also run in London.

Elsewhere,
Olympic heptathlon qualifier Katarina Johnson-Thompson will not compete
in the seven-event competition as she saves herself for London, instead
doubling up in the long jump and 100m hurdles.

Alongside
Gemili, other strong gold medal contenders include James Gladman in the
110m hurdles, Jazmin Sawyers in the long jump and Jessica Judd, who
will race over 800m and 1500m.

The team will aim to replicate the successful campaign of Moncton 2010 which yielded eight medals, including two golds.

'The World Junior Championships are a massive stepping stone in a junior athlete's career,' said team leader Alan Richardson.

'And the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona will be a fantastic environment to learn in.

'I
am really excited about this team, there is a lot of quality and we are
not short of medal chances. In some cases, such as the sprints,
selection was difficult with quite a number of athletes qualifying for
several events, but it just shows the depth of the team – the sport at
junior level is definitely moving forwards.'

London 2012 Olympics: Adam Gemili confirms he wants to run at Games

EXCLUSIVE: Sprinter Gemili says: I'm raring to go for the Olympics

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 5 June 2012

Sprinter Adam Gemili has confirmed he wants to run at the Olympics this summer.

The 18-year-old sensation ran 100 metres in 10.08sec on Saturday, making him the fastest runner in Britain and the second fastest in Europe this year.

He has achieved the qualifying time for London and will be guaranteed a place if he finishes in the top two at the trials in Birmingham, starting on June 22.

Out of the blocks: Adam Gemili training in London on Tuesday

Out of the blocks: Adam Gemili training in London on Tuesday

The former Dagenham and Redbridge footballer has the World Junior Championships trials in Bedford six days earlier.

Gemili told Sportsmail on Tuesday: 'I'd love to go to the Olympics, but I don't want to run half-hearted at the trials.

‘I need to go there in good form and confident that I can get through and qualify. I don’t want to be tired from the week before.’

Olympic dream: Adam Gemili wants to run at the London Games

Olympic dream: Adam Gemili wants to run at the London Games

Talks with his experienced sprint coach Michael Afilaka continue, but if he continues to show this form he will be a serious threat to the senior British sprinters.

He is almost certain to be part of the relay team after his explosive time in Germany at the weekend, when a new sprint star was born.

Coach Afilaka said: ‘They can’t ignore him now he’s run that time. He’s the fastest man in the country at the moment.’

And Gemili added: ‘We’ll have the discussion about if I can cope with it after the junior trials, which remain important to me and my development.

‘That is my main target. It would be great to achieve a place at the Olympics, because the trials only come around once every four years. I’ve just got to wait and see how I feel. Right now, I feel great.’

Even if Gemili, who left Chelsea because he could not commit to an academy contract at the football club, does not make it in the individual 100m he would be keen to race as part of Great Britain’s Olympic 4x100m relay team.

He added: ‘For the relay I’ve put myself in the position where people are going to consider me. Just making the squad for the relay would be amazing, such a treat.

Part of the team: Gemili says he would like to be part of the relay team if he does not make the individual event

Part of the team: Gemili says he would like to be part of the relay team if he does not make the individual event

‘It’s the Olympics and at 18 to get that experience will be unreal, the best thing in the world. Even if you don’t run, just being there, in the Olympic village, being able to go to the track and watch it would be amazing.’

Coach Afilaka added: ‘Mark Lewis-Francis had the opportunity to try for the 2000 Olympics but went to the World Junior Championships instead and won gold.
‘Christian Malcolm ran 200m in the Juniors in 1998 and won silver in the Commonwealth Games that year too.

‘From that point of view it wouldn’t be a crazy achievement if he did it. But the senior guys are senior guys because they’re very good.

‘If we do the senior trial those guys are animals. Those guys are hard. They aren’t going to roll over for a fresh-faced 18-year-old kid.

‘I’ve trained those guys for Olympics and I know what they’re like.’

Dwain Chambers: If the crowd isn"t cheering it"s curtains

Dwain Chambers: You can do all the training in the world, but if the crowd isn't cheering it's curtains

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 7 May 2012

When Dwain Chambers heard he had been cleared to run for Olympic selection, you might have expected a bit of triumphalism, even jubilation, certainly celebration.

Instead, he sought isolation. He managed a smile when the phone call came and the verdict against the British Olympic Association was read to him. Then he walked out without a word to the squad of top Jamaicans he trains with, took flight to another Caribbean island and hid himself and his emotions away.

Training was the last thing he felt able to cope with.

Free to run: Dwain Chambers poses at Kingston's Emancipation Park on Monday after discussing his feelings towardsthe BOA's decision to free him for London 2012

Free to run: Dwain Chambers poses at Kingston's Emancipation Park on Monday after discussing his feelings towardsthe BOA's decision to free him for London 2012

COMMENTARY

Jonathan McEvoy: Spare us the tears, Chambers, you set out to rob your fellow sprinters

On Monday, back alongside former world record holder Asafa Powell and the others before seven hours of hard graft in Jamaica’s National Stadium, he spoke for the first time about the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision that opened his path to a controversial Olympic place.

The smile on Britain’s most derided drugs cheat is now broad, the emotions under control. Seated in the foyer of a downtown hotel, the words gushed from Chambers.

‘You cannot underestimate the effect this has had,’ he said. ‘I’d been raised up and then brought down. The announcement was going to be this week, then it wasn’t. I kept being pulled back and forth with emotions. I was stressed.

‘I’d try to train and feel worse. Everyone was saying I should be excited and elated but I wasn’t. I was just exhausted.

‘For years it’s been like running with Atlas on my back. Now that Atlas has been removed, I just feel drained. I didn’t realise it was going to have that effect on me.’

He brought the burden on himself by his use of anabolic steroids in 2002 and 2003. He was consequenetly suspended from competition for two years, though the BOA enforced a lifetime ban on his Olympic participation until last week’s court verdict denied them the right to select the team as they deemed fit.

London calling: Chambers feels the strain at his training camp in Jamaica where he is working seven hours a day in pursuit of his Olympic dream

London calling: Chambers feels the strain at his training camp in Jamaica where he is working seven hours a day in pursuit of his Olympic dream

His invitation to the national trials in Birmingham next month, the route to selection, is metaphorically in the post.

‘It will be the biggest race of my life,’ he said. ‘This one matters more. It’s one thing to be eligible but I still have to make the team.’

He will be favourite to take an automatic place by meeting the 100metres qualification time of 10.18sec. In a deplorable reflection on UK Athletics, the pack of richly-funded British youngsters chasing him have never quite managed to knock him off his No 1 perch, even now he is 34.

He said: ‘It’s harder for me and I guess I have to fight that bit harder. But I am a little bit hungrier than them.

Reflecting: Chambers sought isolation on hearing the news from the BOA

Reflecting: Chambers sought isolation on hearing the news from the BOA

‘I didn’t even dream I could be at the Olympics. I thought I would be sitting at home watching. The Olympics was beyond me. I wouldn’t even have imagined it.

‘Now the reality is if I qualify I will be there. That is something I will cherish. I need to stay injury free and qualify, but it would be an honour. I have missed two Olympic Games. I want to make sure I do this one with pride and enjoy it.’

Stephen Francis, Powell’s coach who has been watching Chambers match his squad stride for stride for weeks, said at the weekend that the British athlete can make the Olympic final. Chambers smiles at the compliment. ‘I don’t fantasise but I haven’t ruled it out,’ he admits.

Chambers asked Francis during the World Indoor Championships in March about joining his group.

He explained: ‘I was scared about approaching him but he said, “Fine, no problem”, and his guys were more than happy. They laugh at me because I speak formal English. I have to speak real slow so they understand me.’

Not that there is breath enough for chatting during Francis’s sessions, 6am to 10am every morning and 3pm till 6pm every afternoon. Yesterday morning, the temperature close to 90oF by 8am, Francis had them doing eight 110m sprints.

‘You can see the pain etched on their faces,’ said Chambers’ manager Siza Agha, a criminal barrister who offered himself as an adviser when the sprinter was at his lowest point three years ago.

Chambers has financed the Jamaican venture himself.

‘I haven’t earned a massive amount in recent years, so I had to learn to save and be cost effective,’ he said. ‘Those savings are paying for a one-bedroom apartment 10 minutes from the track. All I need is a bed to sleep in, a track to run on and food to eat. I have just gone back to basics.’

He said he had received ‘tons’ of texts. They are from friends and well-wishers. But what of the millions of track fans who feel uneasy about his re-introduction How will the crowd react when his name is announced as he lines up in the Olympic Stadium

He is desperate for public support. ‘Otherwise it’s like going to a disco, having a DJ and no music,’ he said. ‘It don’t work. It’s the crowd that gets you going. You can do all the training in the world but if the crowd ain’t cheering, it’s curtains.

‘I think people respect my situation, that I’ve been honest about what I’ve done. Some don’t. Some feel very strongly. They feel if you are given an opportunity to compete for your country you shouldn’t jeopardise it, and I did. They are entitled to their opinion.

‘All I can do is say, “I’m sorry”. I made a mistake, a massive mistake, and all I want is another chance to correct it and do the best for my country.

Dwain Chambers

‘I’m still day-dreaming. Something I thought would never happen for me is now happening but it doesn’t seem real.

‘What’s it going to take for it to sink in Perhaps to see my family. I don’t know. I’ve skyped them but you can’t hug a computer. Something will have to switch the light on.’

He thinks most British athletes are cool about him — 90 per cent, he says — even the other sprinters who are rivals for the three Olympic places.

He hopes to hear when he gets back to Britain next week of the first relay practice he can attend, a promise made by chief coach Charles van Commenee should the BOA ban be lifted.

More invitations than in past seasons are arriving already. The first is to race three other sub-10sec men in Puerto Rico next weekend. Then he faces Usain Bolt in Ostrava on May 23.

The invitation he covets most, to run at Crystal Palace in July that would indicate UK Athletics’ lifting of their ban on his participation in commercial races in Britain, is still awaited.

‘For the past few years, where I could compete next was always in the forefront of my mind; what I’m going to be asked, what I’m going to say. It was a mess. I couldn’t concentrate at all. I am hoping now we can put all this behind us and look forward to what is going to be a great Olympic Games and to me making the team.

Impact: Two months after this triumphant shot in 2003, Chambers tested positive for the banned substance THG

Impact: Two months after this triumphant shot in 2003, Chambers tested positive for the banned substance THG

‘I am going to enjoy every moment, go to the opening ceremony, everything.’

Cyclist David Millar, another of those who had been affected by the BOA ban, has suggested he might not bother with the Olympics because of the hassle. That thought has not occurred to Chambers. He watched the two Olympic Games from which he was banned and that told him everything about his desire.

‘It’s my passion but it hurt a lot watching,’ he said. ‘Your competitors are competing and you’re sitting at home. That killed me. Now I have been given a second lifeline. I would never jeopardise that again. Never ever, ever.’

Nor will he end his career after the Games.

‘Who knows, it could take me to places I haven’t imagined. So many doors may open for me. This may be the start of something else. I don’t know. I’m still muddled with the emotions but I feel alive again.’

His thoughts turn again to the Olympic Stadium, just 20 minutes from where he lives. He drives past it with his three children, Skye, six, Rocco, three, and Phoenix, six months, to visit friends. ‘My kids say, “Dad, are you going to be there”’

‘I’ve always said “I don’t know”. Now I can say “Hopefully”. That will be nice.’

Mark Cavendish wins Giro d"Italia stage two

Cavendish continues Giro love affair with trademark sprint finish to win stage two

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UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 6 May 2012

Team Sky's Mark Cavendish won the eighth Giro d'Italia stage of his career with a classic sprint victory on day two of the 2012 edition.

The British world champion was brilliantly led out by Welsh team-mate Geraint Thomas in the closing stages of the 206 kilometres stage in central Denmark.

Australia's Matt Goss, riding for Orica GreenEdge, was second with Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-Big Mat) third.

Back to winning ways: Mark Cavendish celebrates his stage two victory

Back to winning ways: Mark Cavendish celebrates his stage two victory

The lead sprinters were split from the peloton by a crash in the final kilometre but American Taylor Phinney of BMC retained the leader's pink jersey he had secured with a win in Saturday's prologue.

A predominantly flat stage with long stretches up the west Jutland coast was expected to produce an early break.

So it was no surprise when Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini), Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) and Miguel Rubiano (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) pulled away with 145km still to go.

Sprint finish: Cavendish (left) was in a familiar position at the end

Sprint finish: Cavendish (left) was in a familiar position at the end

But the trio were caught comfortably before the end – with 40km to go until the finish in Herning.

There was an ineffectual attack by Dane Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol), who went in search of a win on home soil but was undone by a combination of a headwind and a watchful peloton determined to set up a sprint finish.

The race stays in Denmark tomorrow but leaves Herning for a 190km circuit around Horsens in east Jutland which is again expected to favour the sprinters and Cavendish in particular.

London 2012 Olympics: Dwain Chambers will run because of poor sprinters – Michael Johnson

Dwain will be at the Olympics because of poor British sprinters, claims Johnson

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 2 May 2012

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson believes disgraced sprinter Dwain Chambers could make the British Olympic squad this summer – but only because of the inferior competition.

Johnson believes Britain have failed to develop enough young talent and that Chambers, who is now clear to attempt to qualify for the Games after the British Olympic Association's lifetime Olympic ban was overturned, could well do so.

Cleared: Dwain Chambers is set to run at the London 2012 Olympics

Cleared: Dwain Chambers is set to run at the London 2012 Olympics

'I think it is important to understand this ruling isn't about Dwain Chambers,' Johnson said.

'Dwain is in a different situation, he is in a country that has had an absolute horrible last 10 years in terms of developing sprinters so there is a chance he can make that team.

'But if they had been developing sprinters at a consistent rate or like in any other country, maybe he doesn't get in the team.

Claim: Michael Johnson

Claim: Michael Johnson

'So he does have a chance to make the team but that is nothing to do with Dwain, rather than it being an indictment on the system in the UK in regards to developing sprinters.'

Johnson believes the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule that the BOA's lifetime ban was unenforceable was because they did not have the support of other national Olympic associations.

He said: 'I'm hopeful now that we will not be looking back and we can all look forward. Now we can come up with a consistent policy and a punishment that is strict and strong and I think that will happen.

'I think that in large parts that is why CAS ruled against the BOA because they were the only ones who had this policy, at least in the last several months.

'So I think they are right, you have got to get all of the Olympic federations together on a consistent policy and then get WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in support of it.'