Nationality: British Date of birth: May 21, 1985 Height: 175cm Weight: 69kg Team: Dimension Data
Mark Cavendish wins stage two of the 2012 Tour de France. Image: Watson
Mark Cavendish is firmly established as one of the greatest British cyclists of all time, with more than 140 professional wins to his name: 48 stage wins across all three Grand Tours with a points classification jersey at each, victories at Scheldeprijs, Milan-San Remo and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, as well as a world and a national road race championship to go with stages at prestigious races like Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Suisse.
Quite simply, Cavendish is one of the greatest road sprinters of his generation.
The last few seasons have been marred by the Epstein-Barr virus, which Cavendish received a diagnosis for in 2018. He’s back racing in 2019, but results have been low as he aims to regain form.
Mark Cavendish: career to date
Having graduated through British Cycling’s Olympic Academy track programme under the close watch of coach Rod Ellingworth, Cavendish had his breakthrough on the road in 2008. He won Scheldeprijs in April, two stages at the Giro d’Italia in May and recovered in time to take four stages of that July’s Tour de France, abandoning after stage 14 to focus on the Madison race at the Beijing Olmypics (he and Wiggins, reigning world champions, could only finish ninth).
The following year he rode for Team Sky, but was released from his contract after the team failed to give him their full support in Grand Tours. He nonetheless managed to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and three stages apiece at the Giro and Tour.
His 2015 season was a story of two halves. He began in typically authoritative style, first taking overall victory in the Dubai Tour and following up with victory in the one-day Classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
But Cavendish’s name is synonymous with the Tour de France and 2015’s race was a disappointment by his exceptionally high standards. One stage win is a relatively poor haul for the Manx Missile, but it did lift him to 26 Tour stage victories at Le Grand Boucle.
He didn’t leave his new team waiting long for his first win, taking stage one of the 2016 Tour of Qatar to get off the mark for the African outfit. Cav then wore the maillot jaune at the Tour in July for the first time in his career and claimed four stage victories, taking his Grand Tour stage win total to 30 and putting him second to Eddy Merckx (with 34).
An attempt to take his second road race world title fell tantalisingly short, as he finished second to Peter Sagan. That was not it for Cavendish, though, as he won the Ghent Six Day in November with partner Bradley Wiggins, becoming the first British pairing to do so.
He returned to racing at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, following 6 months of being off the bike due to Epstein-Barr virus. This, alongside strained relations with Douglas Adams (owner of Dimension Data), meant that Cav missed the tour for the first time in a decade. After several poor results, many worried that it would be the final season for the sprinter. However, in October it was announced he had signed with Bahrain-McLaren, joining forces with Rod Ellingworth.