Garside at the Games: Back on track

Mark Cavendish missed his calling. He was born throwing punches. Spoiling for a fight is his default setting, especially in the company of journalists.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 5:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:06 pm
Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish

And if he could jump the fence in a mixed zone he would have had one after claiming his first Olympic medal in the omnium.

You might have thought a first gong, silver, would have left him euphoric. Not this fella.

Even before he proposed the idea of litigation against a Dutch journalist, who had the gall to ask Cavendish about the accident that he caused resulting in Korea’s Sanghoon Park leaving the arena on a stretcher with his neck in a brace, he was going at it with Brazilian television.

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The contrast with his team-mates could not be more obvious. But then again most of them win gold, and coming first is the only thing that matters to our Cav.

Asked whether this arch individualist might return for one last crack at gold in Tokyo he replied. "I actually don't know if I can be arsed answering to all you lot (media) in four years saying 'you missed gold in Rio, you want to go for gold this time, it's the only thing you're missing.’"

Don’t bother on our account, Cav. British track cycling seems to be doing okay without you.


Cavendish thinks he’s got problems. I was woken in the night by an almighty crash in my room. From the depths of my slumbers my first reaction was panic. Those boys who robbed American swimmer Ryan Lochte at gunpoint have come for me.

I was out of bed like a shot, straight into combat mode. I flicked the light switch to aid the citizen’s arrest process. Nothing. The buggers must have slipped out through a window.

On more careful scrutiny it became apparent there were no intruders. The bathroom mirror had finally broken free of the Blue Tac fixings holding it in place above the sink. There it was in a thousand tiny pieces over the floor.

I alerted the housekeeper first thing in the morning en route to the gym, always the gym for me, you know that. I returned an hour later to said mirror occupying the same space all over the floor. Manfully I shovelled it into a corner using my official Press Guide and turned on the shower.

All good, until I discovered that the towels had not been replaced. Thank goodness it was 23C and sunny. I would just have to parade starkers on the balcony and drip dry. Fear not - I imposed a picture blackout.