Home
Team and coaches frustrated and disappointed

The entire UK cycling community had something to say about yesterday's dramatic defeat of Team GB, who had been hailed as medal hopefuls for weeks.

Mark Cavendish, the pre-race favourite, came home in the main bunch following a race that his Great Britain team seeemed to have under control as it headed over Box Hill for the ninth and final time, but the big escape group managed to draw out and maintain a minute's advantage that proved impossible to claw back.

Cavendish was clearly deeply disappointed as he came in.

On his Twitter he alluded to his complaint that other national teams would not take on any of the work of the race, leaving Team GB on the front of the peloton for the duration of the 250km race.

"Gutted. After 250km, less than a minute to 20guys. My guys were INCREDIBLE & there was nothing more we could do. Victims of our own success," he said.

He congratulated the rest of his team for the work they did to stay at the front through the hours of racing:

"4 heroes in @bradwiggins, @millarmind, @chrisfroome & @IStannard. Rode, with the weight of a nation, until exhaustion. So proud."

Bradley Wiggins echoed Cavendish's sentiments, saying:

"Well we did everything we could as a team, gutted for Cav and sad to see Fabian out"

David Millar gave an insight into Cav's state of mind when he wrote:

"I think @MarkCavendish needs a hug from the nation. Normally he's angry when he loses, today he was just sad. He feels like he let GB down."

Chris Froome and Ian Stannard stayed silent on the defeat.

Dave Brailsfod, Team Sky and Team GB performance director, said that the race tactics were perfect:

"We had a game-plan and we stuck to the game-plan.

"The guys gave it absolutely everything they had but on the day, this time round, it didn't work. I think we just have to accept that.

"With five guys rather than the normal nine it was always going to be a more difficult challenge, but they rode 90% of the race perfectly, it was just in the final run-in, they couldn't pull it back. That was that.

"From our point of view, if we could have our time again, we'd do exactly the same thing."

Brailsford added that he was now looking forward to today's women's road race.

He said: "The Olympics is very much like a stage race. One day you win a stage and you're on a high, the next day you lose a stage and you're devastated, but you've got to keep going.

"As far as I'm concerned now, I can't dwell on it. We've got another race tomorrow.

"Cycling's in a great place and tomorrow's another day and we'll be attacking that with the same vigour and enthusiasm with which we arrived this morning.

"From our point of view, nothing's changed."

Great Britain's road race manager, Rod Ellingworth, echoed the sentiments of the entire team.

He said in the Guardian that Mark Cavendish finished the race with a slow puncture in his front wheel which meant the tyre was half-inflated and he was unable to sprint in his usual style: "It's not a given he would have won anyway but that's bike racing."

He added: "The Germans told us they would put a rider up front early on to help keep tabs on the early break but what they didn't tell us was that Tony Martin was going to pull out early,"

"If there had been eight riders going full gas we would have taken [the breakaway] back. We were banking on other teams taking it on later as well as us. The plan was that surely other teams with a sprinter would want to race, and without other teams committed to the race it was never going to work. I think the team was a victim of its own success. They rode well, never stopped, fought all the way. They couldn't have done anything differently."

 

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.