Until recently, the term ‘marginal gains’, as employed by Team Sky, had become something of a standing joke. After flopping at the 2010 Tour even they admitted the fundamentals need to be right first before you brag about how your busses feature fancy lighting systems in order to soothe the riders’ mood.
How quickly we forget. Less than a fortnight ago everyone was asking ‘What went wrong?’. Cavendish, a dead cert, a shoe-in, the red hot favourite, had somehow managed to finish 29th in the Olympic road race. While the non-cycling British public groaned and scratched their heads and accused the GB team of ‘just not trying hard enough’, cycling fans just shrugged their shoulders. That’s just bike racing. You lose more often than you win.