Chris Latham secured bronze at the Track Cycling World Championships
The Lancastrian was a flat-mate of Cavendish when his fellow Brit was staying in Manchester while preparing for Rio last year where he finally ended his Olympic drought.
And Latham, 23, needed his multi-millionaire’s famous blistering sprinting speed to claim his first major medal, and Britain’s second of these championships, by fractions of an inch at the end of 60 pulsating laps.
“I’m well happy with that,” said Latham, then quipped in his thick Bolton accent. “Cav needed somewhere to live.
“I think he was struggling for money so I kind of helped him out.
But I was really pleased to do that. I was quite lucky and we trained together going up to the Olympics which was good.”
Chris Latham spent time living with Mark Cavendish in the build up to Rio 2016
Latham took bronze in a packed finish – Poland’s Adrian Teklinski claimed gold from Germany’s Lucas Liss – to add to Elinor Barker’s silver in the women’s scratch on Wednesday.
“I just had to play it into a sprint,” he added. “There were a few ahead and I managed to catch a couple of them. It sets me up for the omnium which is what I’ve been training for and hopefully that will go well.”
Britain’s miserable record in the men’s team pursuit at the worlds continued as they lost the bronze medal battle to Italy. That’s only one gold in eight years now.
In stark contrast, they have won the past three Olympic gold medals.
Olympic champ Steve Burke was the only survivor of the quartet, led by Bradley Wiggins, that won gold in Rio after they beat Australia in a blistering world record time.
And Burke insisted the youthful quartet – which also included Mark Stewart, Kian Emadi and Oliver Wood – would get it right when it mattered in Tokyo in 2020.
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It will take some doing after seeing Australia beat New Zealand to win a sixth gold since 2010 with a time that was seven seconds quicker than they managed against the Italians.
The Burnley rider, 28, said: “I’ve got one world title but two Olympics golds. Leading up to Rio we didn’t win one world title, even in a home worlds.
“You can’t just go off the worlds what we’re going to do at the next Olympic Games. There’s a long time and this is a young squad.
“I’m 100 per cent confident we’ll be ready for Tokyo and that we can bridge that gap. It can take up to two years.”
Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad, with Elinor Barker the sole survivor from the Rio gold medal team, missed out on the medal round after losing to Poland.
And Olympic sprint bronze medallist Katy Marchant crashed out in an early round, but still has two events left.