Mark Cavendish believes that notwithstanding England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 Final, Gareth Southgate’s side proved that the future holds great things for them.
lost 3-2 toItaly
on penalties on Sunday and their hopes of winning a major trophy after 55 years have ended.
, who is in the Tour de France now, was watching the game with his Italian riders on the team and admitted it was really tough; however, he believes The Three Lions making it to the final has made the country proud.
A bit heartbreaking, wasn't it, last night,"
Sky Sports News
"My room-mate is one of the Italians so we were watching it on TV and there were screams down the corridor.
"The boys did good all tournament really. It is second - I know what it's like to get second
"But when you can hold yourself as exemplarily as the lads have over the whole tournament, on and off the pitch, that's something that we as a nation can be proud of, that's for sure."
Cavendish, who has returned to action by taking advantage of an unexpected selection for the tour, has yet to win a stage since 2016.
The 36-year-old insisted that the England players should not pay attention to online abuse after Sunday’s battle.
We've seen awful stuff on social media,"
"When stuff is coming from outside it can be hard to get in the mindset of coming back stronger, but that's what sets elite people, not just sportspeople, apart - the ability to bounce back from injury and from upset. That's what we want to see.
"At least we know now we've got an England team that we can have hope going into the next major tournament, that it's not just going to be 'can we get through?'. We know we've got one of the best teams in the world now.
"If you can turn the disappointment of last night into a positive, we know we've got this great group of lads and we know for the future things are bright."
About his own return, Cavendish praised the team around him for guiding him.
I've had hard times,"
"Like we say about the lads last night, you've just got to bounce back.
"You've got to believe in yourself, you've got to know you can do it. That's what I did, I just fought the last few years. Things kind of fell into place, you've just got to grab that opportunity.
"To be tying the all-time stage win record at the Tour de France... 13 years I've been at this and that always seemed unachievable.
"Whatever the circumstances, it's nice to be there with an incredible team. They've believed in me and we've got here.
"Cycling's odd because only one guy crosses the finish line, but like in football there's a whole team behind - it's not just who's competing.
"They never leave my side. That's been the key thing; having this great group of guys around me, just believing in me and sacrificing themselves."