Opinion: Mark Cavendish Netflix documentary shows why Tour de France return is in doubt

Manxman's route out of depression shows what's really important

Mark Cavendish loses in Bordeaux at the Tour de France
Mark Cavendish loses in Bordeaux at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A rear derailleur cage moves mere millimeters with each click of a button. It’s a subtle change but enough to move a bike’s chain from one gear to the next. Or not, as Mark Cavendish found out in the closing meters of stage seven of the Tour de France this year.

On the finishing straight his derailleur was fractions of a millimeter out skipping the chain between gears. Cavendish, streaking ahead of the best sprinters in the world, was less than a millimeter from victory. He had been robbed of momentum and glory in the Bordeaux streets by a rear shifter behaving as if it had been imbibing the local produce. His best chance yet at a historic 35th Tour de France stage win literally derailed.

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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.