London - Mark Cavendish won the road cycling test event for the 2012 London Olympics on Sunday, sprinting to victory in front of Buckingham Palace.
The 26-year-old Briton pulled ahead of Italian rider Sacha Modolo and Samuel Dumoulin of France at the end of the course that started and ended on the Mall in central London after a loop through the Surrey countryside.
"The whole way round it was just full," Cavendish said. "It is reminiscent of when the Tour de France came to London in 2007 ... nobody would have thought there would be this support for cycling even 10 years ago."
An estimated 100 000 people lined the route of Sunday's 140km race that was a shortened version of the 250km Olympic course.
"Seven more laps of that is going to be hard," Cavendish said. "I said before the race today that we won't actually get a feel of how the race will go in the Olympics.
"Obviously two laps is a lot different to nine laps around Box Hill (in Surrey) but in terms of the run-in into the finish it was the perfect, perfect opportunity to see that."
Cavendish is one of Britain's strongest medal hopefuls for the games after winning the green jersey at this year's Tour de France as the best sprinter.