8: Cavendish on the comeback trail
This week's episode of The Cycling Podcast tackles all the biggest stories from the world of professional cycling and features an exclusive interview with Mark Cavendish, who is seeking to return to his best after almost 18 months laid low with Epstein-Barr virus.
In the first part, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe recap the week's racing, discuss the reports that Dave Brailsford has met with the president of Colombia to talk about the future of Team Sky after the broadcasting giant pulls out at the end of the year. We also ask whether the on-going controversy over Dr Richard Freeman and his latest no-show at a General Medical Council hearing into the delivery of testosterone to British Cycling HQ when he was a doctor there will affect the team's search for a sponsor.
Then we hear Daniel's exclusive conversation with Cavendish, who headed to Majorca to train for his second race of the season. On the island he can vary his training, heading into the hills but also honing his speed at the velodrome.
It's a year and a few days since Cavendish last crossed the line ahead of everyone else but despite going so long without a victory he was in typically pugnacious mood, insisting that he can still win at the top level.
Cavendish talks about the struggle to diagnose and then recover from the virus. "It's been reported a lot that I've had two bouts of mononucleosis. The evidence suggests it wasn't two bouts, it was the same bout," he said. "I never got over it the first time. That's hard to explain to people. It makes it look like I'm not very resilient, whereas it was completely mismanaged. It's damaged my career for sure, and perhaps my legacy, which makes me angry, but all I can do is my best."
The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science In Sport.
Rapha is marking the 15th anniversary of Marco Pantani's death with a special pink jersey dedicated to the memory of il Pirata. That, and the book Pantani Was A God by Marco Pastonesi, are available now at Rapha.cc
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