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Sprinter Cavendish named in GB track squad

  • Story Highlights
  • Mark Cavendish is named in the British squad for world track championships
  • The leading sprinter had previously indicated he would finish his track career
  • Michele Scarponi leads Tirreno-Adriatico stage race after winning sixth stage
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(CNN) -- Top sprinter Mark Cavendish has been named in the Great Britain squad for next week's world track cycling championships in Poland -- six months after becoming the only member of the nation's Olympic squad to return home from Beijing without a medal.

Cavendish (left) and Wiggins celebrate their Madison victory in last year's world track cycling championships.

Cavendish (left) and Wiggins celebrate their Madison victory in last year's world track cycling championships.

Cavendish, the winner of four Tour de France stages last July, has established himself as the fastest man in the peloton -- and is a shock inclusion for the Madison event previously stating he would not compete on the track again.

The 23-year-old Team Columbia rider fell out with Madison partner Bradley Wiggins after their display in the Laoshan Velodrome, telling the Observer newspaper: "I'm finished. There's nothing for me to do on the track now.

"I wouldn't gain anything in my career either financially, or in terms of being remembered, by continuing on the track. It would just be a hindrance to what I can gain on the road."

Cavendish and Wiggins are the defending world champions, but Wiggins has now retired from the track and fellow-Manxman Peter Kennaugh is Cavendish's likely partner.

The absence of defending champions Sir Chris Hoy, Wiggins and Rebecca Romero -- all Olympic champions -- offers Britain's next generation of talent the opportunity to show their credentials, with Victoria Pendleton the only defending individual champion named in the 19-man squad.

Four-time Olympic champion Hoy, a winner of 18 world medals including nine golds since 1999, is absent after sustaining a hip injury in the keirin final at last month's World Cup event in Copenhagen.

Wiggins -- the three-time individual pursuit champion -- is concentrating on the road and Romero, who won the individual pursuit in Beijing after winning rowing silver four years earlier in Athens, is yet to return to the bike following last August's exploits.

Britain won nine golds and two silvers in Manchester last March, with Wiggins taking three titles and Hoy, Romero and Pendleton scooping two each.

Cavendish is currently competing in Italy in the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race where Italian Michele Scarponi, of the Diquigiovanni team, took over the race lead after winning the marathon 235km sixth and penultimate stage to Camerino.

Scarponi outsprinted compatriot Stefano Garzelli in the uphill finish to the line and now leads his rival by 25 seconds with one stage remaining.

Germany's Andreas Kloden had led after winning Sunday's individual time-trial, but the Astana rider suffered on Monday and is now back in third place overall, one minute seven seconds behind Scarponi.

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