Cyclist Mark Cavendish reveals robbery months after Tour de France victory

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Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom at the start during the 108th Tour de France 2021, stage 18 a 129.7km stage from Pau to Luz Ardiden 1715m, on July 15, 2021 in Luz Ardiden, France.

Chris Gray then | Bike | Getty Images

Professional cyclist Mark Cavendish, who is tied for the record for most Tour de France stage wins, revealed on Wednesday that he and his family were victims of a violent home burglary two weeks ago while recovering from serious injuries sustained in a racing accident. .

In a Twitter post that asked for the public’s help in identifying the knife-wielding assailants, Cavendish detailed the early morning Nov. 27 robbery from his home in Essex, England.

Police released multiple photos from CCTV security cameras that captured footage of thugs entering the Cavendish residence.

The theft came six days after Cavendish broke two ribs and suffered a punctured lung on November 21, when he crashed in the final race of the Madison event at the cycling competition track of the Six Days of Ghent in Belgium.

And it came at the end of a year in which Cavendish, who has long been considered one of the greatest road racing sprinters of all time, achieved a stunning personal comeback in France.

“Shortly after leaving intensive care, 4 masked and armed men broke into our house while we were sleeping, threatened my wife and children and violently attacked me,” the native wrote. Isle of Man, 36, in a tweet.

“At knifepoint they ransacked our belongings,” Cavendish wrote.

“Among what was taken were 2 watches of great feeling and value. But much, much worse to take was the sense of safety, security, privacy and dignity to which my young family and everyone else has a right to their own home,” he added.

“The effect this nightmare has had on my family is already evident,” Cavendish wrote, adding that “I beg anyone who can help us with information” to call a number he gave in the tweet.

Essex Police in a statement confirmed the account, saying Cavendish’s children and his wife Peta “witnessed the events”.

In addition to “two high-value watches”, the thieves stole a Louis Vuitton suitcase, according to police.

Video still released by Essex Police investigating aggravated burglary at the home of cyclist Mark Cavendish

Essex Policies

“It was undoubtedly a targeted incident at the home of a famous British Olympian, who at the time was recovering from significant injuries resulting from an accident during a competition, which was well publicized” said Essex Detective Inspector Tony Atkin, the senior officer investigating the case. , said in a statement.

“We are following a number of investigative leads as we seek to catch those responsible,” Atkin said.

“It is likely that the people who stole these items are trying to offload them for significant sums and I would urge anyone who is offered these items to contact us, they are stolen property.”

During his famous career, Cavendish won three UCI Track Cycling World Championships and 52 stage victories in the three-week Grand Tours road race trio.

He first won a stage race in the Tour de France, the most prestigious of the Grand Tours, in 2008, where he took four stage victories.

Cavendish suffered several years of racing setbacks after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus in 2017 and then again in 2018. He also suffered from clinical depression.

Cavendish did not participate in the Tour de France for two years. He was only named to the Deceuninck-Quick-Step roster for this event this summer at the last minute after another race was dropped from the squad roster.

Months earlier, Deceuninck-Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere had agreed to bring Cavendish back into the team only if the rider got his sponsors to pay his contract. Lefeverve told him the team didn’t have the budget to pay him.

Cavendish then stunned the cycling world by winning four stages in the 2021 Tour de France, giving him 34 stage wins in the event.

In doing so, he equaled the 46-year-old record for Tour stage victories held by Eddy Merckx, the Belgian who is the most successful male professional cyclist. Cavendish narrowly missed out on the record on the final day of the Tour, coming in third from a close margin at the finish line on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Cavendish also won the green Tour jersey, given to the rider who wins the competition for the most points awarded in the event.

Slovenian rider Tadej Pogacar claimed overall victory in the Tour de France for the second consecutive year after posting the lowest cumulative time over his nearly 3,500 kilometer race.

“Mark Cavendish is the greatest sprinter in the history of the Tour and of cycling,” Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said at the event. “His comeback is just amazing.”

Quick-Step confirmed the team and Cavendish finalized a one-year renewal of his contract on Tuesday – a day before the cyclist revealed the theft at his home.

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