Jeremy Hunt of Cervélo TestTeam and Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, the current British National Champion, are reportedly set to be selected as Mark Cavendish’s team mates for the HTC-Columbia riders bid to win the World Road Race Championship in Geelong in October.
The 36-year-old Hunt, who has himself twice been British champion, took part in the Tour de France for the first time this year where he could often be seen working hard at the front of the peloton for team mate Thor Hushovd.
Now, according to South Devon newspaper the Herald Express, his friend and mentor Colin Lewis says that Hunt has been chosen given one of the three places in the Great Britain team for the World Championship road race where he will act as lead out man to the HTC-Columbia sprinter.
“Cavendish has definitely had a say in the team, and he wants Jez as his lead-out man,” explained Lewis, who lives in Devon and was British Champion in 1967 and 1968, adding “Jez is really made up to be picked."
While Lewis's comments suggest that he is privy to information that hasn't yet been made public, and as the newspaper points out, Hunt has a home in Australia and knows the World Championship course well, there's nothing concrete about who the third British rider might be.
However, the newspaper added that Geraint Thomas, who after Cavendish was perhaps surprisingly the highest-profile British rider at the Tour de France, coming second to Hushovd on Stage 3 over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles and spending four days in the leading young rider's white jersey, is expected to be the third member of the team.
Unlike last year in Mendrsio, Switzerland, where Great Britain fielded the maximum possible nine riders, the UCI qualification system means that with fewer ranking points accrued by the nation’s top riders this year compared to 2009, the country is only eligible to enter three riders in the 262km race from Melbourne to Geelong.
In wining the final stage of this year’s Tour de France in Paris despite the absence of his usual leadout man Mark Renshaw, disqualified earlier in the race, Cavendish showed that he still has the ability to use opponents’ wheels to get him to the right place to launch his assault for the line when he needs to.
With a couple of nasty climbs on the 11-lap closing circuit at the World Championships, there’s no guarantee that the race will finish with a sprint, but if it does, Cavendish, who in winning last year’s Milan-Sanremo proved that he’s not just a flat-track sprinter, will be one of the favourites to take the rainbow jersey.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.