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Cav and Wiggo must commit to track
Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins have been told by their potential Olympic team-mates that 100 per cent commitment to the track will be required to be considered for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Both Cavendish, 25 times a Tour de France stage winner, and 2012 Tour de France champion Wiggins have expressed an interest in returning to the four-man, four-kilometre discipline for the next Olympics.
London 2012 gold medal winner Steven Burke said: "They'll have to commit to the track, not just have a road programme.
"It's very unlikely you can do both in the same year.
"At Olympic level when you're going for 3:50 (three minutes 50 seconds), you want to be at optimum level. You need to commit more to the track."
Men's endurance coach Paul Manning has left the door open for the pair and has invited Cavendish to train with his squad before the end of the year.
Geraint Thomas and Pete Kennaugh committed to the track for the latter half of 2011 and the whole of 2012, missing the Tour de France, in their successful pursuit of Olympic gold.
The pair's focus has returned to the road and they were part of the Team Sky squad which helped Chris Froome win the 2013 Tour de France.
Cavendish would have to forsake a similar period on the road in the run-up to Rio and juggle his commitments, while Wiggins has previously suggested if he were to attempt to ride in Rio at the age of 36, it would be after halting his road career at the end of his Team Sky contract next year.
Two-time Olympic team pursuit champion Ed Clancy added: "They've both voiced ideas about coming back in.
"Cav was talking about riding the Tour in 2015 and from then on in, for 12 months, dedicating himself as a track rider.
"But it's his call. Like Brad, he's got good things going on on the road and it will be up to them if they do decide to come back or not. If they do, they'll have to fight for their place.
"It will be up to those guys, whether they'll want to commit."
Even then, there is no guarantee Wiggins - part of the team which won the 2008 team pursuit title and four times an Olympic gold medallist - or Cavendish would make the team.
On Friday's opening day of the Track World Cup in Manchester, Clancy, Burke and 2012 world champion Andy Tennant are poised to be joined in the line-up by Owain Doull, with Sam Harrison and Jon Dibben in reserve.
Clancy said: "You just don't know how good Dibbo, Doull and Sam are going to be.
"Me and Geraint were rubbish until we were 22, 23 years old. Some of these guys are not even that."
The specific talents required mean it will not be possible to parachute straight into the line-up.
Clancy, Burke, Thomas and Kennaugh won Olympic gold in London in three minutes 51.659 seconds after targeting a ride below 3mins 50secs.
Clancy and Burke believe they would have reached the target had injury and illness not afflicted Thomas and Kennaugh in the lead up to the Games.
Burke said: "I think we were unlucky. Geraint being ill the week before and Pete being injured at the Giro. All four have to be at their optimum level.
"It's more likely to happen at the Olympics in Rio."