Mark Cavendish is currently racing in Croatia with Dimension Data but he has edged closer to Olympic selection for Britain's  track squad after Jon Dibben, a rival for selection to contest the omnium, underwent elbow surgery on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, the most prolific sprinter on the road with 26 Tour de France stage wins, has been sweating on the chance to finally win a first Olympic medal ever since this year's world championships in London.

Cavendish finished sixth in the multi-discipline omnium event at the Olympic velodrome, missing the top-three target Britain's technical director Shane Sutton had set him to secure his place on the plane to Brazil.

Dibben won gold in the points race, one of the elements of the two-day omnium, in London while Cavendish showed his track credentials when he partnered Bradley Wiggins to gold in the non-Olympic Madison event.

A crash in the Netherlands last weekend in the ZLM Roompot tour, however, left Dibben with a broken elbow.

"He is being operated on today," Sutton told Reuters. "It's a pretty quick turnaround so I wouldn't say he's out but it's a setback for Jon."

British Cycling later issued an update on Dibben, saying they were confident he would return to training "imminently" after his surgery.

"His Rio ambitions remain unaffected," the statement added.

Whoever is selected for the omnium would also be the 'fifth man' in the four-man team pursuit and Dibben was part of the British squad that took silver in London last month.

Cavendish has limited experience in the 4km team pursuit, one of the blue-riband events of the Rio track programme, but Sutton was upbeat about his selection chances on Tuesday.

"Mark is continuing his training in the hope that he will make the squad and we will look at his training times and see where he's at," Sutton said. "The team will be announced on June 13 and Mark is definitely in the frame.

"We have his results from the worlds and (the UCI Track World Cup) Hong Kong and we are quite happy with those performances but obviously there are two or three other guys in the frame.

"We will look at training data from now up until selection and make a recommendation."

Wednesday 20 Apr 2016

Tropical North Queensland is set to host hundreds of the world's best mountain bikers this week for the2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Cairns from April 22-24.

Set amongst the scenic Smithfield Regional Park rainforest, more than 300 riders from 66 teams and 35 nations will contest the Cross Country and Downhill competition.

SBS will be broadcasting and live streaming the XCO and DHI on Saturday and Sunday. Check your local guides for details.

Cairns is the opening round of the World Cup Series for cross-country (XCO) riders, and also doubles as a final opportunity to gain valuable qualification points for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Australia's Dan McConnell (VIC) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT) headline an Australian XCO field of 29 riders.

The elite men's XCO field will feature dual Olympic and five-time world champion Julien Absalon (FRA) and reigning world champion Nino Schurter (SWI), with the likes of Olympic and four-time world champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja (NOR) and 2014 Cairns winner Eva Lechner (ITA) to line up in the women's field. 

The 2016 Downhill (DHI) World Cup Series commenced in France last weekend, with Cairns' localsTracey and Mick Hannah (QLD), plus Troy Brosnan (SA) set to light up the exciting event.

Reigning world champions Loic Bruni (FRA) and Rachel Atherton (GBR) are also confirmed.

At the age of 35 Brett Lancaster knew his cycling days were coming to an end as last season drew to a close. He had a decision to make. Did he try to extend his successful 14-year career for one last campaign or was it time to start looking elsewhere?

Then a conversation with a member of Team Sky convinced the Australian that he was ready to step off the bike and into a team car. He was offered the role of Sport Director here and he readily admits he 'jumped at the chance'.

Four months on he's loving it, while still 'learning something new every day', and when we caught up with Brett he was in the process of planning for this month's Tour de Yorkshire, which will be his first race as lead DS.

Read more at Team Sky.

Saunders said Lycra shorts were the only item of clothing he planned to ban.

“Muddy football boots are fine. Tracksuit pants are fine. Jandels [thongs or flip flops] are fine.

“So far locals have respected the fact we are trying to enforce a dress code so they can eat their meals surrounded by people wearing trousers.”

Siobhan Tolhurst, who once worked for Saunders’s at another cafe, explained the reasons for his lack of enthusiasm for Lycra.

“I fully support Mike’s ban on Lycra. Because when the cyclists come in they do stink, they are sweaty and it is unhygienic sitting on the furniture and everyone, including little children, partaking in their post exercise demeanor.

“We had a number of experiences with large men in tiny shorts and that’s not appropriate for children to see.”

More at The Guardian.

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