Mark ca vendish
21 May 1985 – He’s never claimed to be either the greatest cyclist in the world or one of the more complete. It could therefore be argued that he has no place on a list which excludes the likes of Jan Janssen and Beppe Saronni, Charly Gaul and Philippe Thys. Why, then, have we seen fit to include him?
First, we’d argue that he’s the top ‘pure’ sprinter of all time. Irrespective of Marcel Kittel’s recent pre- eminence, Cavendish has no less than 25 Tour de France stages, 15 at the Giro, well over a hundred wins all told. He’s won World Championship gold on both track and road, stage races, points jerseys… He’s also hugely charismatic, driven by a huge desire and near inconsolable in defeat.
This list, however, is about winners, and two moments in particular distinguish Cavendish as a true champion. The first is the 2009 Milano-Sanremo, arguably his finest ever gallop. In catching Heinrich Haussler on the line, he served notice on his greatness, for only by winning La Primavera can a sprinter aspire to the sport’s top table. He described it as “the greatest day of his life” but the green jersey he captured two years later was maybe his finest hour. Here was a victory for both his blistering speed and his indomitable will.