After the news that Team Sky rider Peter Kennaugh has opted out of the Isle of Man's Commonwealth Games squad, Manx eyes have understandably turned to the island’s other big cycling medal hope.
Mark Cavendish is currently in Australia preparing for the world road championships but his national team cycling manager, Gary Hinds, told road.cc that Cav has yet to make up his mind about participation in the crisis-hit Delhi games.
“Mark thinks it’s too early to make a decision,” said Hinds. “He has concerns about security issues but at the moment he has bigger fish to fry and is concentrating on his preparation for the worlds. He will decide on the Commonwealth Games later and that seems like common sense to me.”
Hinds told road.cc that the withdrawal of Kennaugh, who secured a scratch race victory at the National Track Championships this week, was a massive setback for the Isle of Man's medal hopes. “Losing Peter is a huge blow for us. He was a key part of the team pursuit programme and without him we will have to withdraw the team. We felt that we were in contention for a bronze medal in the event,” he said.
“I can understand why Peter has withdrawn from the Games. He is part of a tight knit group of four [Team Sky riders who all withdrew from the Games] and the next two years will be crucial for him. His training for 2012 will start in earnest this winter and he has weighed up the benefits of going to Delhi and decided he doesn’t want to risk his health and well-being there.”
Meanwhile, the main body of the Isle of Man squad began their journey to Delhi this morning.