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British pair win thrilling race despite late Cavendish crash

Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish have won the Madison at the UCI Track World Championships in London, the second time they have taken the rainbow jersey in the event, having won it the last time the event was in the UK at Manchester in 2008.

It was a thrilling race in which France, Colombia and Switzerland gained a lap on the competition early on, putting them into the medal places, but throughout the 200-lap race the British pair picked up points at the sprint.

Again and again they tried to get away and finally, with around 33 laps remaining and time running out, they managed it and helped by the Spanish pair made the junction to enable them the Britons to jump from fifth to first, both smiling as Wiggins gave Cavendish a handsling immediately afterwards.

There was late drama as Cavendish hit the deck with 11 laps remaining, but he was quickly back in the saddle to take the third Madison world title of his career, having also won at Los Angeles in 2005 with Rob Hayles.

"When we went we had to give everything," Cavendish, whose hopes of making the Olympics are in the balance after he finished sixth in the omnium yesterday told the BBC afterwards.

"I hit my head hard so I was a bit dizzy, but I just wanted to get back on and finish with Brad. It could be my last one [Track World Championships] so it's just perfect to go out like this with Brad."

Wiggins, who now has seven world titles on the track and will be aiming for a fifth Olympic gold medal in Rio this summer, said: "You couldn't have written a better script. It's so nice to be world champion again."

Great Britain end the week by topping the medal table with five gold medals.

 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.