He may have left the Beijing Olympic games as the only British track rider without a medal, but Mark Cavendish re-wrote the history books in 2008 by becoming the first British rider to win four stages of the Tour de France in one year.
Reflecting his status as a sporting icon in Britain, Cavendish’s feat of 17 professional victories last year has been honoured as ‘Best Individual Sporting Achievement’ by Observer Sport Monthly in its annual awards.
In an interview with the Observer, Cavendish stated that he is now in no rush to return to the track, and will now concentrate solely on his professional career on the road.
When asked whether he had a future on the boards, Cavendish replied “I’m finished… there’s nothing for me to do there now. I wouldn’t gain anything in my career either financially or in terms of being remembered. It would just be a hindrance to what I can gain on the road.”
Observer’s Best Team Award went not to the riders in the all-conquering Team GB cycling squad but the management team behind them – Dave Brailsford, Chris Boardman, Steve Peters and Shane Sutton. All four have become hot property since the Olympics, and their astounding success in 2008 has attracted worldwide attention in the sporting community and beyond.