Mark Cavendish win result of team work - Dave Brailsford

By Matt SlaterBBC sports news reporter
Cavendish sprints to victory in Copenhagen

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford believes Mark Cavendish's world road race win in Denmark was the product of the best team display in living memory.

Cavendish became the cycling's most prestigious one-day race for 46 years on Sunday.

His victory margin was a matter of inches but that belies the true extent of the British team's dominance.

"The win is great but it's how they won that's so impressive," said Brailsford.

"A performance like that has never been seen before - it was mind-blowing."

Brailsford's praise for Cavendish's seven team-mates is well deserved as the Isle of Man star would not have been in position to do what he does best without them.

On a flat course, every other nation knew their best chance was to avoid the kind of bunch sprint "the Manx Missile" has made his own in recent years.

So this meant the British team, the strongest ever assembled, had to control the race in Copenhagen from the front of the main pack.

The eight-man GB line-up ignored all breakaways to control the peloton over the 165.2-mile (266km) course, delivering Cavendish to the finish in ideal fashion.

"You do this by riding very fast for almost six hours," explained Brailsford.

"Everybody played their part but special credit must go to team captain David Millar for keeping it all together and that final lap by Bradley Wiggins was just incredible.

"He rode at about 55kph (34mph) and nobody could go anywhere - they just couldn't get past him.

"So it's like football, Cav scored the goal but it was an amazing team effort."

Brailsford, who also runs the Team Sky professional team Cavendish is expected to join next year, said this was probably British Cycling's greatest triumph.

"We have had a lot of success on the track, in BMX, in downhill mountain bikes and so on, but the men's road race is massive," said Brailsford.

"It's been a long time coming but we deserve it and so does Mark. He took me aside at the beginning of the week and told me 'I'm going to win this' and he did. That's the kind of guy he is."

Cavendish also paid tribute to his team-mates, telling BBC Radio 5 live: "Because it is one person that crosses the line it looks like an individual thing but you can't do it without your team.

"It takes incredible commitment when there's one jersey to wear and I'm the one who wears it. It also takes an incredible group of guys to work for the cause like that."