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Mark Cavendish, or the ‘Manx Missle’, is a British track and road cyclist regarded as one of the greatest sprinters of his generation. Cavendish was born on the Isle of Man in May 1985, where his passion for cycling was first expressed in BMX and mountain bike racing. Cavendish cites an early meeting with the Scottish road cyclist David Millar as inspiring him to pursue a career in the sport.
Cavendish’s early successes were on the track, winning gold in the Madison at the 2005 Track World Championships in LA and in the Scratch Race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Cavendish started his competitive career on the road in 2006, joining the T-Mobile team. In 2008 he marked his place as the then highest achieving British cyclist after winning two stages in the Giro d’Italia and four in the Tour de France. Switching to rivals HTC Highroad a year later, Cavendish continued to grab victories on the Tour.
2011 was a standout year for the young cyclist, becoming the first Britain to win the Tour de France’s Green Jersey. He went on to become UCI Road Race World Champion, ending Britain’s 46-year drought. These two remarkable achievements brought him both an MBE and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
In 2012 Cavendish joined Team Sky and was instrumental in bringing home the Yellow Jersey for Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France. He also became the first person to win the final stage of the race four years in a row. In 2013 he left to join Omega Pharma – Quick-Step on a three year deal.