Could a new approach see Manxman Mark Cavendish back on top in 2015?

Certain statistics can make you feel old. Mark Cavendish turning 30 in May is one of those. Was it really seven years ago that a young upstart from T-Mobile racked up those first four stage wins in the Tour de France?

Cav admits to now having a few grey hairs but that’s probably more to do with his inability to beat Marcel Kittel than his advancing years.

We know that 2014 was poor but the good news is that Cav goes into the new season leaner, fitter and more motivated than ever. This is the final year of his contract at Etixx-Quick Step and his big bucks salary. If he doesn’t perform, he’ll be dropped and without a major league team to ride for, it would be impossible to take on Kittel and his mighty Giant-Alpecin lead-out train.

Racing six-days has kept Cav’s weight down, he’s climbing well and a bid to repeat his 2009 Milan-San Remo victory is the first big objective. It’s an event Kittel could never win and shows that Cavendish is much more of an all-round racer. If the German has more brute strength, then Cav will employ an ever-increasing array of tactics to beat him.

Expect our man and his team to stir things up in the crosswinds, attack on the cobbles and push the pace on the climbs. Cavendish still has the beating of Kittel; he just needs to go about it differently.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • gregorio globo

    coming of age? he may have specs and wrinkles now. but this article’s a bit premature. did you report on him fbombing a journo’s wife and accusing her of sleeping around (huge improvement from when he childishly stole their tape-recorders). he’s always been a classless bore.

  • Antonio Gutierrez Barajas

    that mania of comparisson!
    Kittel is great but will never have the persona and leadeship that Marc has
    like Sagan they are unique!
    instead Kittel is boring, and soon a new kid in town will beat him
    is the law of life !!!!
    Marc forever

  • razw

    Cav needs to go play rugby or something. He keeps trying to force his way past bigger, stronger riders and ends up on the ground in his hometown even. Or, was that his mother’s home town?

  • Janet Mozelewski

    Well he beat Kittel last year….Tirreno-Adriatico …Kittel got tailed off over the bumps. Not Cav;s fault Kittel wasn’t there for the sprint. He beat Kittel in ’13…because Kittel didn’t handle the crosswinds. So Cav’s done that before. But apparently its only drag-race finishes that count? (And Cav wasn’t fully fit in ’13 Tour and obviously last years crash was a bummer)
    As for Milan San-Remo….well of course Kittel is a non-starter and Degenkolb goes up against Cav in anything bumpy. So, I tend to think the Kittel hype is OTT. He too often doesn’t finish Tours, can’t climb a traffic hump and has pretty much zero chance of winning a major Points Jersey.
    Cav beat Degenkolb twice in Tour of California with most of Giant’s A Train in attendance. Then Degenkolb goes on to smash it at the Vuelta. I think of the two Giant sprinters Deg had much the better year. Kittel won 4 stages at TdF but his major rival was in bed. Under similar circumstances Cav would win 5+. Because Kittel will never win the marginal sprints.
    In short…writing off Cavendish is a silly thing to do but a lot of commentators who really should know better (or are simply stirring) are indulging in it. They will feel very foolish come the summer in Paris when Cavendish is on the podium in the green jersey..