Can Mark Cavendish Win Gold in the Men's Omnium?

Olympics
Updated Friday 12th August 2016, 12:40 PM

Event dates: 14th - 15th August

Six events and two days are all that could stand between Mark Cavendish and his first-ever Olympic medal as he pursues gold in the men’s omnium at Rio. This incredible track cycling event is a true test of grit, skills and determination, covering everything from a scratch race to a time trial. However, are the bookies sure that the Manx Missile can see off his rivals starting on Sunday?

How the Bookies See it

  • Winner: Fernando Gaviria Rendon (COL) 2/1, Mark Cavendish (GBR) 7/2, Elia Viviani (ITA) 9/2, Glenn O’Shea (AUS) 11/2 - Ladbrokes
  • Top 3 Finish: Rendon 1/2, Cavendish 10/11, Viviani 11/10, O’Shea 1/1 - Sky Bet

Form

Oddly enough, Cavendish hasn’t trained specifically for the omnium event; according to a recent interview, he was rather put out at being snubbed for a spot on the team pursuit, saying that he had focused largely on that instead of really getting ready for the omnium. He came in sixth at the track worlds this year, which is worrying, but even his rivals still see him as a threat. German Roger Kluge described the Manx rider as ‘dangerous’ to reporters: ‘He was strong at the [track] worlds but now he will be coming in with a real momentum and will be even stronger because he had those two weeks on the Tour [de France] and had those victories.’

Fernando Gaviria is more pressing threat here, with every bookmaker going rating him as more likely to win than Cavendish. There’s good reason for it; the Colombian has won gold in the omnium at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships for the last two years running, swept the omnium at the 2015 Pan American Games, and grabbed top spot in the same discipline at both the 2015 Central American and Caribbean Games as well as the South American games that same year. He’s an exceptional track rider and will come in with all guns blazing.

Italy’s own Elia Viviani also has a considerable track pedigree, winning the omnium in the 2015 European Track Championships and coming in third in the same discipline at the Track Cycling World Championships that year. His focus has shifted more towards the road in recent years - he rides for Team Sky - but he still has the legs for the velodrome, and could cause an upset in the ranks.

Sports.net’s view

If you’re looking for better odds, Sky Bet is currently offering a price boost on Mark Cavendish to win gold in the omnium, setting him at 9/2 instead of 7/2. If you think the Manxman can pull it off, it’s worth a punt, but Gaviria is fine shape and could be a better choice to back, even though it won’t be as lucrative. London 2012 silver medallist Roger Kluge might be the most profitable punt (16/1 with Betfred), but it’s not entirely sure if he can do the business. You might do well to bet on him to finish in the top three.

  • Sports.net’s top tip: Roger Kluge for a top three finish - 11/4 at Sky Bet

*Please note, odds may fluctuate.

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Published:
Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2016 12:40:00+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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