Mark Cavendish appears to move his head into the arm of Grzegorz Stepniak in the final sprint of the Dubai Tour stage two

Mark Cavendish is no stranger to courting controversy in the hectic sprint finishes that he excels in, and the Manxman did something strange in stage two of the Dubai Tour.

In the closing metres of the stage to Palm Jumeirah, Cavendish found himself out of position after a crash a kilometre previously and was trying to manoeuvre his way back to the front of the bunch.

As he was chaperoned to the left of the road by CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider Grzegorz Stepniak, Cavendish – wearing the red jersey of the sprint classification leader – moved his head into the arm of the Pole. You can see it happen at the 1-03 mark on the above video and judge for yourself.

It’s not the first time Cavendish has used his body to get a better position in a sprint, although this time there seemed to be no real reason to do it.

Whereas in the 2013 Tour de France when Cav’s shoulder connected with Giant-Alpecin’s Tom Veelers, sending him crashing to the ground, this time in Dubai he seemed to simply stroke Stepniak’s arm with his helmet.

In the context of this sprint, Cavendish had little to gain by trying to disrupt Stepniak – he was already well beaten in the stage. Maybe it is just a natural reaction when someone pushes him in a direction that he does not want to go, maybe it was out of frustration of not being involved in the winning sprint.

The world of sprinting is a tough one and sometimes you may have to get physical.

  • Butty

    He just had an itchy head that needed scratching.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    You’re the one taking b***ks. That was just Cav’s way of saying he’s not to be messed with. Okay by me.


    No he doesnt, he simply moves out himself to get a better line, its called racing.

    Cavendish got himself in a bad position and knew he wasnt going to win so blamed someone else as usual.

  • J1

    Because he’s a seasoned sprinter and doesn’t like other riders trying to put him into the barriers? It’s a nothing incident anyway, have you seen a Keirin race in a Six Day? Now they’re headbutts!

  • Ivor Bigguns

    Outside Right hand side of track.

  • Nick

    Stepniak drifted purposely into Cav’s line pretty significantly and would have pinned him against the barriers if he kept going any farther.

  • bowwow rapha

    Only for dessert, Cavendish might have reached his racing weight!!

  • Calum Croft

    Who writes this polemic crap? I’m absolutely no Cavendish apologist, I found his Yorkshire grand depart antics hard to watch it was so cringeworthy, but watch the helicopter shot. Stepniak darts dangerously across the front of 2 riders and then pushes into Cav, who initially doesn’t respond, but when Stepniak keeps pushing even though there’s masses of space in front of him, Cav chucks in a warning headbutt as if to say ‘mate what are you playing at, the lines over there, get the f*ck off me’.

  • Damor

    Watch the overhead (not on this clip) the guy forces Cav right across the road.

  • I’ve watched a few times and cannot see it either.

  • When does he head butt him ? can’t see it

  • Richard Braginton

    I think it’s called sprinting

  • Chris Williams

    Just his usual CHAV attitude

  • Thiago Corrêa


  • Rupert the Super Bear