Mark Cavendish’s sunset years deserve to be champagne supernovas | Richard Williams

28 October 2019 03:41
Three-year illness and injury nightmare looks to be over as 34-year-old cyclist gets back on the podium and is reunited with a former mentor in a team part owned by F1’s McLarenAmid the lights and noise – loud music, louder cheering – of the Six Days of London meeting, Mark Cavendish rediscovered what winning feels like. This was not the sunlit splendour of the Champs Élysées, where he triumphed in the climactic stage of the Tour de France four years in a row with the eyes of the world on him. It was the very different environment of the Lea Valley VeloPark velodrome, where the crowd’s hot breath is on a rider’s neck as he circles an infernal oval for lap after lap, calculating strategies while trying to retain enough energy for a final lung-scorching sprint.By the time the event wound up on Sunday night, Cavendish and his riding partner, the Welshman Owain Doull, were not on the top step of the podium. They had been pipped for victory in the general classification by Elia Viviani and Simone Consonni. But earlier in the week’s points-gathering programme they had won the 40-lap Derny races on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the Madisons on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the team elimination races on Thursday and Saturday and the 60-lap Derny final on Sunday, in which Cavendish swept past Viviani and the Australian sprint ace Caleb Ewan in the final 50 metres to take the win. Related: ‘Do or die’: Australian cycling in limbo amid landmark governance reform | Kieran Pender In his mid-thirties, Cavendish is unlikely to be the rider he was but Ellingworth knows which buttons to press Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian