World Road Cycling: British Cycling's Dave Brailsford hails 'historic' week

By Ollie WilliamsBBC Olympic sports reporter
Cavendish thanks 'amazing' GB team

British Cycling chief Dave Brailsford celebrated a "historic day" as Mark Cavendish sprinted to the road race world title in Denmark on Sunday.

Britain finished top of the World Road Cycling medal table with two gold medals, two silver and two bronze.

"It's unbelievable to win the road race but it's the entire performance of the team that gives me great pleasure," Brailsford told BBC Sport.

"It's brilliant for Mark, but it's also brilliant for the team."

Victory for Cavendish in a sensational, claustrophobic slog up to the Copenhagen finish line earned Britain .

It capped a week in which Bradley Wiggins earned time trial silver, while 17-year-old duo Lucy Garner and Elinor Barker raced to gold and silver in the junior women's road race and time trial respectively.

Bronze medals were picked up by Emma Pooley in the elite women's time trial and Andy Fenn in the men's U23 road race.

"If you dare to set high expectations and work hard enough, most of the time you get there in my experience," said Brailsford, who oversees Britain's road racers alongside pro cycling's Team Sky and GB's successful track cycling programme.

"The work the backroom staff, coaches and mechanics do - they all pull together and work so hard. They deserve a massive amount of credit and never get it."

Cavendish paid a similar tribute to the British team as he pulled on the world champion's rainbow jersey.

"I had to finish it off when the guys rode like that all day," the 26-year-old told BBC Sport's Jill Douglas.

"They buried themselves into the ground and then they came back again, every single last drop. The whole last lap we had Bradley Wiggins on the front when guys were attacking.

"We were left outnumbered at the end - we were left with just a couple - and I went a little bit earlier than I had to go. I had to take that opportunity.

"I said on the bus this morning: if we do everything 100% right, we'll win this world title. And the guys did 110% of what they had to do."

Cavendish dedicated "the biggest jersey you can get" to his national team, adding: "I'm limited, I can't win the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, so this is the biggest jersey I can achieve.

"I wear it on behalf of Great Britain."

Brailsford said: "What impressed me the most - and I've been watching road world championships for many years - is that I've never seen a team dominate from start to finish as the British did today.

"They made their intentions very clear right from the start. David Millar was our captain on the road, with no radios, and it was fantastic the way he took that responsibility.

"The guys who worked early doors were brilliant and the turn Bradley Wiggins did at the end was mind-blowing.

"You build all that up, then your guy comes up to put the ball in back of the net, and you think: is he going to miss? Of course he didn't."

Australia won five medals, two of them gold, to finish second in the medal table with France (three medals, two gold) third.

Cavendish sprints to World title

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