He is hugely emotional. He can be very angry or he can be hugging people tightly and giving them Kisses after the stage. The differences between Cav’s low points and high points are huge. He won’t let his emotions out during the race, he will always just try to win. But after the finish line, he can be a different person.
If the towel he cleans his face with is not the right colour he can explode about it.
Sebastian Weber, HTC trainer
If you saw Mark’s data and Andre Greipel’s data you would see that Andre has more power but when you compare it to body size or the drag they have to overcome then it changes to a completely different picture.
He’s always making jokes to keep the spirits up. He makes it fun for us. He also takes the responsibility for the team. Whenever he doesn’t come in first place, he’s so disappointed that he’s nearly crying because all of his teammates were working for him and they didn’t have the chance to win the race on their own. That’s why I’m proud to work for him.
Simon Jones, head coach at British Cycling, on Cavendish getting dropped in a training ride in 2006
That'll teach you, eating all those chocolate bars at Christmas [causing Cavendish to burst into tears].
Cavendish on Cavendish
By the end of the year, including racing, I’ll have done about 35,000-45,000km. Some guys will do 50,000km. It sounds a lot, but I worked in a bank for two years and I can tell you a day on a bike is one thing. A day in a bank is something else entirely.
Q: Can you respect someone who comes back from a drug ban?
It depends. A mate of mine took a vitamin that had only just gone onto the banned list. He was careless and should pay the consequences, but I can’t dislike him. But Patrik Sinkewitz? He was on my team and blatantly cheated. He should never be allowed back in the sport. If I ever see him in the same peloton as me I will jump off my bike, straight onto him and kick the shit out of him.
Last year I saw Mark Cavendish twice.
I first saw him on the side of a vicious climb during stage 6, the queen stage of the Tour of California (write up here).
Cavendish was way off the pace, and it was clear even before Big Bear Mountain he'd not make the time cut.
Cavendish had struggled on, even though there were no more sprinting stages left, in the hope that the race officials would cut him some slack. After all, there were only about 75 riders left of the original 125+. There were almost as many riders lounging around in bars as on their bikes (I saw Stuart O'Grady and several others knocking back a few in LA the next night).
Unfortunately, race organizers adhered strictly to the time cut, and Cavendish and his groupetto were out.
That didn't exactly stop Cavendish from continuing his participation in the 2010 Tour of California. On stage 8, the final stage up Bonny Doon, I watched the riders and race officials come and go, and settled in with the tifosi. Then a shout went up, and folks went nuts. Cavendish and Renshaw, in full kits, were climbing Bonny Doon for the hell of it. The pope, a Roman soldier, a giant water bottle, mostly naked folks, children held aloft by proud fathers, drunks--everyone was running and shouting and laughing. Cavendish rode by laughing, red-faced, throwing his arms in the air and playing to the crowd, doing mock victory salutes, looking absolutely elated. Everyone was going nuts.