Rod Ellingworth: 'In the back of Mark Cavendish's mind he’s got this Tour de France ambition'

Ellingworth goes in depth about the season ahead from the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, a mix of seven-star hotel, medical laboratory and Bond-villain lair

Rod Ellingworth (Daniel Gould)

Rod Ellingworth has something no other WorldTour team boss has — and he knows it. The driveway approaching the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking takes you over a vast artificial pond — the water was previously used to cool the wind tunnel’s motors — the grandness of which screams, ‘this is not just another corporation’.

Inside, the ambiance is a mix of seven-star hotel, medical laboratory and Bond-villain lair, with its secret doors, spotlessly clean corridors, uneven staircases designed to make you think, and corridors that double as showrooms packed with Formula 1 exotica from the company’s 56-year history. And that’s before you get to the subterranean levels stacked with boffins in white coats and manufacturing facilities that run 24/7.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.