23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 08:59

Mark Cavendish sprints for cycling and business success

Category: England

Published: 21st Jun 2012 00:00:26

World champion cyclist Mark Cavendish - who justifiably describes himself as "the fastest man on two wheels'"- has a strenuous summer ahead of him.

The 27-year-old defends the green jersey he won in the 2011 Tour de France, while also looking to win gold in the London 2012 cycling road race.

Before competing in the Olympics, he will have cycled some 3,500km (2,175 miles) in the Tour de France, which gets under way in Belgium on 30 June.

The Manxman is a winner of 20 stages in the last four Tours.

Six days after the end of the 99th staging of the Tour, he will then line up in London on 28 July for the Olympic road race, the climax of which ends in the Mall.

"It is not easy but it is possible," says the sprint specialist, speaking at a Sport Industry Group event in London.

"I am doing both for different reasons.

"There are some guys missing out the Tour de France to concentrate on the Olympics.

"But the Tour de France is the biggest cycling race in the world, commercially. For any sponsor putting money into cycling, the race is a big factor in any deal."

The BBC's current Sports Personality of the Year considers the French race the high point of his cycling season, but also points out that "the Olympic Games is a big thing to me, especially with it being held in my own country".

"I think I can do well in both," he says.

Last year he rode for the now defunct HTC-Highroad Team, and won the green jersey for most Tour de France race points, acquired for consistently high finishes in the Tour's 21 stages.

The father-of-one now races for Team Sky, a Manchester-based UK team sponsored by the satellite broadcast firm.

He is the only cyclist ever to win the final stage of the Tour de France, along the Champs-Elysees in Paris, for three years in succession.

And he will be seeking other high-profile finishes in this summer's three-week-long race, for both sporting and commercial reasons.

"Fundamentally my job is to display the sponsor's logo as predominantly as possible, preferably crossing the line with my hands in the air," he says.

And he is clear about the important role business plays in keeping the sport on the road.

"It is a commercial thing - it is about displaying sponsors' logos," he says. "That is where the money comes from."

From a personal point he feels he has benefited from signing with the Wasserman sports agency last year.

"Two years ago I was commercially less valuable than I am now, but I was was doing more - it was affecting my cycling, and I could not train because of the [commercial] commitments I had," he recalls.

"Everything is now so relaxed, and structured. My life is so much easier."

His two biggest commercial contracts, apart from his team's association with Sky, are with sportswear firm Nike and sunglasses firm Oakley.

"I have to believe in a product before I go with it," he says. "I have had things brought to me and I am not interested in them.

"I have been offered more from other brands, but those two had faith in me and provided me with products when I was younger."

He adds: "I will remember that for the rest of my life. I was being invested in, and that makes you completely loyal."

The cyclist dubbed the Manx Missile admits he will never be a winner of the Tour de France yellow jersey, awarded to the racer who completes the Tour in the shortest overall finishing time.

That is because his speciality is sprinting to the finish line, with flat race stages of the type he favours making up just less than half of the race.

He compares his speedy speciality finish, usually in competition with dozens of other sprinters, as being akin to having all 20 Premier League football teams on the same pitch at the same time, "all trying to score in the same goal in the last minute of the game".

However, he expects to be less dominant in the sprints in this year's Tour than in previous years, after making some changes to his training methods and losing weight as part of his preparations for the Olympic race.

That is because he does not believe the London 2012 road race will end with a massive bunch-type sprint to which he is used.

As part of his detailed training for the Olympic race, he has been increasing his endurance training, and at his home base in Italy thinks nothing of taking part in five consecutive 11km climbs in quick succession.

In mid-June, Cavendish achieved another career milestone when he won the Ster ZLM Toer in Holland.

It was the first general classification win of his career, that is in a race where the winner is the rider who has the fastest time when all the stage results are added together.

"It is a benchmark in my career," says the 2011 Road Race World Champion, who is now one of British cycling' s most recognised names alongside the likes of Bradley Wiggins or Chris Hoy.

"When I started in cycling it was not such a big sport. Cycling is now being recognised as a big sport, it is massive, and it is an honour to be a part of it."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Mark Cavendish sprints for cycling and business success [Online] (Updated 21st Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1435958/Mark-Cavendish-sprints-for-cycling-and-business-success [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bournemouth gun raider in Coral robbery bid

    A gunman is being hunted in Dorset after attempting to rob a bookmakers.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Pirates raid oil tanker in Malacca Straits

    Armed pirates have raided a Japanese oil tanker sailing in the Malacca Straits and abducted three crew members, officials in Malaysia say.
  • Man Utd: Sir Alex Ferguson to help select David Moyes's replacement

    Sir Alex Ferguson will play a key role in selecting David Moyes's replacement as Manchester United manager.
  • Flybe in London City Airport deal

    Flybe is to offer flights from London after signing a five-year deal with London City Airport.
  • Lottery cash for Flintshire World War One memorials website

    A project telling the story behind the names on Flintshire's war memorials has received lottery funding.