In the presence of greatness

Mark Cavendish world champion
Mark Cavendish wins the UCI Road World Championships road race in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 25th, 2011

in Cav we trust.

From 1903 to 2010, in 97 runnings of the Tour de France Britain has won only one of the classification jerseys – Robert Millar’s “King Of The Mountains” in 1984.

From 1927 to 2010 in 75 World Championships, Britain has had only one rider win the road race title rainbow jersey – the late, great Tom Simpson in 1965.

In 2011 Britain has a cyclist that not only holds the green points jersey from the Tour but after yesterday’s 266km race round a Copenhagen suburb now holds the rainbow jersey as the champion road rider of the world.

Mark Cavendish.

Britain has one of the sport’s greats. Was he on the front of your daily paper this morning? Was he the top story on the back page or in the sport section? Or was it some mediocre rugby side or over paid, footballer that’s done nothing for their nation?

If you vote for anyone else for BBC Sports Personality of the Year this year then you are an idiot. Nobody has touched Cavendish’s achievements this year, forget golfers or those running round a track, no one.

World Road Race Championship podium
Mark Cavendish (centre) stands atop the podium as road race World Champion, wearing the rainbow jersey - with Matt Goss (left) silver medallist for Australia and André Greipel, bronze medal for Germany

Of course as Cavendish is the first to point out that even though he is the greatest sprinter about he has a great deal to thank the rest of the team for. Bradley Wiggins, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Steve Cummings and Jeremy Hunt all paid a major part getting Cav to the point where he does the business in what was an excellent World Championships for the GB team.

With medals for Bradley Wiggins in the men’s time trial (silver), Emma Pooley in the women’s time trial (bronze), Andrew Fenn in the men’s under-23 road race (bronze), Elinor Barker in the women’s junior time trial (silver) and Lucy Gardner’s gold in the women’s junior road race. Putting GB top of the medals table with the most won.

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