Mark Cavendish’s website claims that he’s the “fastest man on two wheels,” adding the word fact for emphasis. The world will see if the 27-year-old can live up to his lofty billing as the Manx Missile (he hails from the Isle of Man) as he attempts to win the first gold of the Games. And that shouldn’t be read as the first British gold but the first one on offer (fact), as the men’s road race is the opening sporting event of the Olympics. The race will be won and lost amid the nine grueling ascents of Box Hill in Surrey, but if the 2011 road world champion can keep in touch with the leaders during that punishing period, he’ll certainly fancy his chances — not that Cav is exactly lacking in confidence. He’ll warm up for the Games at a certain event that goes by the name of the Tour de France, which went wonderfully well last year, as he won the green jersey, awarded to the rider who amasses the most points over the course of the three weeks.
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