Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish has rubbished suggestions foul play was behind Team GB's incredible success in the velodrome at Rio 2016. The 31-year-old rider won his first Olympic medal in the omnium and was part of a team in which every member claimed a medal of some colour.
Their success has, however, prompted suggestions of cheating from rival teams in Rio, many of whom are baffled by Great Britain's ability to peak at Olympic Games despite performing relatively modestly in the four years in between. Cavendish, though, has pointed to their cutting-edge equipment and dedication to the cause as the reason for Team GB's success.
"We do get great funding, we're lottery funded, but we also have backing from private sponsors," he told talkSPORT. "But still other nations have similar funding to us, we don't have anything great. What we do in British cycling is get a lump sum every four years, but we don't use it for the first years.
"We don't use the best equipment, we stay in terrible hotels. It's all about saving so that we can really push it in Olympic year. The other nations use the best equipment in every World Championship, we were using second-rate equipment at the Championships this year," he shared.
"It all combines into one. If you don't have the support and the rides there's no point in having a good bike, if you don't have a good bike you're kind of hitting your head against a wall."
Cavendish added that Team GB's ability to compete against the best in the world while using "second-rate equipment" serves to underline their true superiority. "We have an incredible team of scientists who work on the bikes and the suits we wear," he explained.
"But the thing is we went into the Championships in London this year trying to win on second=rate equipment, so if we are trying to win against sides that have already brought out their Olympic kit, we might get the success rate we want at the Worlds. But then we go to the Olympics in the good kit, and as soon as we are on the good kit we're obviously better than them."