As the world turns on its axis, Mark Cavendish works while sprint rival Marcel Kittel relaxes

While arch sprint rival Marcel Kittel has been attending film premieres and messing about on his mountain bike, Mark Cavendish has been hard at work.

After a below-par 2014 season, Britain’s most prolific road racer is already busy building form for next year with an impressive second place in the Ghent Six-Day paired with Omega Pharma-QuickStep team-mate, Iljo Keisse.

Although Cav struggled to find his rhythm in the first few nights, he found form when it mattered, holding the lead into the final day’s racing and eventually only missed out by the narrowest of margins.

It’s good to see our man back at his best, particularly as his track speed could be instrumental if he is to turn the tables on Kittel. Six-Day legend and Ghent organiser Patrick Sercu definitely thinks it will give him an advantage.

“A little bit more winter training, speed training on the track. I see him going very well in 2015,” is the Belgian’s prediction.

It’s worked for Cav before. Let’s not forget that he won the World Madison title with Bradley Wiggins at the beginning of his breakthrough road season in 2008 when he went on to take two Giro d’Italia and four Tour de France stages.

Kittel may have had the upper hand this season but Cavendish certainly isn’t going to abdicate his sprint crown without a fight.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly