First things first, I love watching Cav winning stages in the Tour, he’s a great racer, I respect him trying to get himself a place, I just don’t think he’s the right man for the Omnium in Rio.
For me, it’s plain to see, there’s quite simply riders better than Cav at the combination of Omnium events, best of the lot is Jon Dibben. Bear in mind that the selected rider HAS to ride a heat in the Team Pursuit, so if you choose a rider with less experience & less time to devote to training with a team for this, you could compromise two events. This is a crucial selection for Team GB’s Olympic medal dreams, it shouldn’t be one that’s decided by cronyism & media pressure to take a big star of the sport. It’s correct that Cav should have ambitions, but in the weeks running up to the Olympics, if the rest of your team pursuit squad are spending all their time on the boards & you’re riding up & down the Cols of France, you’re not going to be as well-drilled, or perhaps fast enough to contribute to the round that you HAVE to ride. Riding 200km+ stages every day for three weeks, with the pace controlled by others is so far away from the British Cycling ethos that’s rewarded them so well, I find it fantastic that one of the young talented team pursuit ‘bankers’ isn’t being automatically considered as the number one choice for the Omnium.
Review the results specific to the track events in the Omnium & see who you would consider your first choice.
Silver – 2012 Junior World Championship Omnium
5th – 2012 World Cup Omnium
8th – 2013 World Championship Omnium
Bronze – 2013 World Cup Team Pursuit
Gold – 2014 European Team Pursuit
Silver – 2014 European Omnium
Silver – 2014 World Cup Team Pursuit
Gold – 2015 European Team Pursuit
Bronze – 2015 European Omnium
Silver – 2016 World Championship Team Pursuit
Gold – 2016 World Championship Points Race
Gold – 2005 World Championship Madison
Gold – 2006 Commonwealth Games Scratch Race
Gold – 2008 World Championship Madison
6th – 2016 World Championship Madison
+ This is written the afternoon before Cav & Wiggins take to the track for the World Madison Champs, I think they’ll get a medal there too.
Who would you take based on recent results, Cav’s World titles are at least 8 years old? The rider with current proven experience in the Team Pursuit, a world champion in the biggest points scoring discipline in the Omnium, or a rider who has one track result since 2008 & will focus on road events during the build up to the Olympics, missing out on valuable track time with the rest of the team. I’d also question if anybody actually thinks that Dibben would have placed lower than 6th if he had ridden the Omnium instead of Cav?
I’ll leave this out there for discussion.