Geraint Thomas: Great Britain cyclist inspired by Mark Cavendish's world title bid

Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas won Olympic team pursuit gold in 2008 and 2012
UCI Road World Championships 2016
Host: Doha, Qatar Dates: 9-16 October
Coverage: Live coverage of the elite men's and women's road races on BBC TV, Red Button, online and BBC Sport app. Women's road race from 10:35 BST on Saturday; men's road race from 08:20 BST on Sunday

Geraint Thomas says his inspiration for being part of Great Britain's World Championship road race team is Mark Cavendish's bid for a second title.

Cavendish is aiming to become the first Briton to win more than one world road race crown.

Welshman Thomas helped the 31-year-old win his 2011 title and he hopes he can repeat the feat in Doha on Sunday.

"As a team we're strong. It's good having Mark in the team - if he wasn't here I doubt I would be," said Thomas.

"It's certainly been a long season - which started in January down under [in the Australian National Road Cycling Championship].

"I've felt better on the bike and with Cav [Cavendish] in the team it was always a target to come here as best as I could."

The 257.3km men's race takes place on Sunday, with Cavendish aiming for a second rainbow jersey.

No British man has won more than one world road race title - Cavendish's victory in 2011 and Tom Simpson's in 1965 are the only successes to date.

Mark Cavendish (left) celebrates his 2011 World Championship title with Geraint Thomas
Mark Cavendish (left) celebrates his 2011 Road World Championship title with Geraint Thomas

Slovakia's Peter Sagan will attempt to defend the men's title, while Cavendish faces competition from fellow sprinters Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, who will all compete for Germany.

Adam Blythe, Steve Cummings, Dan McLay, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, and Scott Thwaites complete the GB men's team.

In the women's race on Saturday, Britain's Lizzie Deignan says the race is "anybody's" as she bids to defend the title she won last year.

It was announced on Wednesday that Britain would host the World Championship for the first time in 37 years after Yorkshire was awarded the 2019 event.

Thomas rode for Team Sky when the county hosted the opening stage of the Tour de France in 2014, and he would enjoy the chance to return there in three years.

"That would be awesome - I would have to change my programme," he added.

"The atmosphere will be incredible. The Tour [de France] was just immense there - it was like being in a nightclub for five hours your ears were ringing afterwards."

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