Dating callum blue
The 31-year-old Manxman, 30 times a Tour de France stage winner, is chasing the first Olympic medal of his stellar career, at the third attempt.
Cavendish was sixth in the event at March's Track World Championships, but showed strong enough form to suggest the gold he is so eager to claim is not out of his reach.
There could be two more on Tuesday, with Trott's two-day, six-discipline omnium campaign poised to get under way on Monday.
The omnium is unpredictable, too, but Cavendish made a good start and was in third position overnight.
Coach Rod Ellingworth said: "He's disappointed, but he's right where we want him to be. Britain did not qualify for the sixth, the women's team sprint.
Thomas Boudat of France leads at the halfway mark with 106 points, Elia Viviani of Italy has 104 and Cavendish is third on 96.
World champion Fernando Gaviria of Colombia is joint fourth on 90 and Hansen sixth on 86. "He's a winner, so he's never happy unless he's on the top step." Britain had four golds and two silvers from five events entered after four days of action in the velodrome.
The 28-year-old from Bolton has an opportunity to join Sir Chris Hoy on six gold medals and emulate the Scot's achievement of three golds at one Games by winning Tuesday's Keirin.
"People keep saying I have won five but I don't feel any different from the other day when I only had three. "It's a nice club to be part of - but I'll just keep my head down and concentrate on the Keirin." Kenny won team sprint gold in Beijing, London and Rio - with Skinner and Phil Hindes on Thursday - and has now successfully defended the individual sprint title won four years ago.