'It was surreal' - Mark Cavendish turns up at local Isle of Man race, finishes 29th

The Manxman, a big supporter of his home scene, pinned on race numbers last weekend

Mark Cavendish at the Nick Corkill Memorial Race
(Image credit: Gary Jones (Manxman Photos))

The Isle of Man's Nick Corkill Memorial Race had a surprise last-minute entrant on Sunday. His name wasn’t on any of the start lists, but there, signing on with everyone else, was Mark Cavendish, former world champion and 34-time Tour de France stage winner. 

"When I turned up, I could see his bike, and that was the telltale sign," says James Meakin, one of the day's competitors. "It's weird to see an elite pro like him, and his bike, outside a village hall, pinning on a number with all the amateurs. But there he was, chilling casual like any other amateur road racer."

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Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.