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Mark Cavendish is known as the fastest cycling sprinter in the world. But what is his top speed?
Mark Cavendish has a maximum recorded sprinting speed of 48.47 MPH (78 km/h). This is cycling on the flat with no wind assistance. Cycling downhill and with wind assistance he would be able to go significantly faster than this – somewhere up t 60mph.
In this post, I’ll take a look at:
- The top sprints in Mark Cavendish’s career
- Some other famous cyclists top speeds
- Some unusual speed cycling records
- A few other facts about Mark Cavendish and his career
Mark Cavendish Top Sprints
Mark Cavendish is known as an outstanding and brutal sprinter and finisher.
Some of his greatest sprints include:
Tour de France 2010 – Stage 20 – Cavendish was a part of the leading pack until about 300 yards from the line when he suddenly accelerated ludicrously past the whole peloton and claimed another stage
Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 13 – This was an absolute nail-biter, where Cavendish claimed it on the line.
Milan – San Remo 2009 – This was one where he pipped his opponent on the line. His opponent was leading up until the final couple of yards and had been weaving this way and that across the road to block him.
World Championships 2011 Road Race – A prestigious win, and another really close race, where his superior sprinting abilities held out at the very end.
Tour de France 2012 – Stage 18 – This is possibly my favorite I’ve seen. Cavendish comes from miles back, slipstreaming several riders, and then in the end taking the Stage comfortably.
To check out these brilliant finishes, then check out this video:
Other Famous Cyclists Top Speed
Although cycling is not a sport that readily collates a lot of speed records, here are a few to give you an overview.
Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France five times. His fastest Tour de France was in 1971 where he had an average speed of 23.6mph (38km/h).
In 197s, Eddy Merckx set the record for the furthest distance travelled in one hour at 49.431km (30.7 miles). This would make his average speed during this time 30.7 miles per hour.
Lance Armstrong (later banned for doping), had an average speed of 25.9mph in the 2005 Tour (his fastest).
The current official hour record is 30.88 miles (49.7 km) which was recorded by Ondrej Sosenka.
More Unusual Cycling Speed Records
In the pantheon of cycling records, there are a range of truly bizarre ones!
These include cycling down volcanoes, over snow on downslopes, and first being towed by vehicles up to a speed of 100mph.
Here are a few of the more incredible ones that I found on Wikipedia: (Source)
|334.6 km/h (207.9 mph)
|Flat surface (indoor), Virtual “motor-paced” (Pedaling on bicycle rollers after being “towed” to 100 mph)
|296.009 km/h (183.932 mph)
|Flat surface (outdoor), motor-paced
|227.72 km/h (141.50 mph)
|Downhill on snow (outdoor), unpaced, on a prototype bicycle
|222.22 km/h (138.08 mph)
|Downhill on snow (outdoor), unpaced, on a prototype bicycle
|167.6 km/h (104.1 mph)
|Downhill on a volcano (outdoor), unpaced, on a serial production bicycle
|144.17 km/h (89.58 mph)
|Slight downhill (-0.6% grade) (outdoor), on a Faired Recumbent, unpaced
The Secret Of Mark Cavendish’s Speed
All elite cyclists have two characteristics: endurance and drive.
Cycling is arduous, and after you have been pedaling for hours, you must be able to maintain your motivation. Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, and Marcel Kittel are said to adopt strategies such as visualizing how they would win the race to maintain their mental strength.
Professional cyclists must also pace themselves during a race. While it is normal to desire to push oneself hard at the start of a race to gain an advantage, the lactic in your thighs will cause your muscles to exhaust more quickly.
It is preferable to keep a steady pace and raise your speed approaching the finish line; the last lap.
Mark Works equally on his endurance and his sprinting. He has to maintain a level of freshness in his legs that will help him attack the end of the race.
His Training Regiment
Mark once informed Men’s Health journal that regular training is the key to success. Cavendish’s missile moniker would not have been earned without significant work and perseverance.
He states that exercise is his full-time occupation, spending 30 to 40 hours each week on the bicycle and the remainder of his time on weight training.
Cavendish focuses on his core as well as upper body strength while he is not riding his bike since he cannot strengthen these areas by pedaling. Increase your strength like Mark Cavendish by consistently doing plank exercises, crunches, and jackknifes, and by performing push-ups, pull-ups, and weightlifting.
Cavendish practices toward the conclusion of his normal rides in order to enhance his sprinting skills. To maintain his pace, he runs one or two runs over a length of around 300 meters, which is longer than competition sprints.
This provides Cavendish with confidence in his ability to complete the requisite distance at a high pace.
Cavendish, whose most popular name is “Manx Missile,” is presently third all-time in Tour de France stage wins, after Eddy Merckx as well as Bernard Hinault.
In 2011, as he was shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, he garnered almost half of the citizenry’s votes (49%) and was granted an MBE for contributions to cycling.
At the time of writing, he is a part of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad, although he formerly rode for Team Sky, where he helped the team capture the yellow jersey in 2012. In 2010, he was the first ever British cyclist to win the Tour de France Points Classification, when he was awarded the Green Jersey.
For four years, Cavendish became the first rider in history to win the final phase on the Champs Elysees. He enhanced his record by winning the UCI World Road Race Championship and the famous Rainbow Jersey, which Britain had waited 46 years to acquire.
During the 2014 Tour de France, the sprint race in Harrogate may well have thrown the Manx Missile off his bicycle, but he immediately climbed back on and pushed his own psychological and physical limits.
Cavendish resumed racing after only six weeks – under the prescribed recuperation period – after the worst accident of his whole career, which resulted in significant ligament ruptures.
Even if I do not condone training with an injury, we cannot deny our appreciation for his unparalleled commitment to the sport.
Olympic Silver Medalist
Mark Cavendish grabbed Jason Kenny’s Olympic second prize to move towards first class on the return flight to the United Kingdom after returning to Beijing 2008 as just the sole member of Squad GB’s road cycling unit without a medal.
After a string of failures, including heartache in the road race at London 2012, Cavendish was able to win an Olympic second prize in the heptathlon at Rio 2016. “I won my Olympic medal,” said Cavendish, then 31 years old, to BBC Sport. The addition of gold would have completed the ensemble.
Cavendish had stated a desire to race at Tokyo 2020. However, he was not nominated to the British track squad for the world championships; therefore ending his chances of participating in the velodrome at the 2020 Olympics.
Take nothing for granted from Mark Cavendish when it comes to predicting what the Manxman does next.
Could Paris 2024 provide a second chance to win that coveted Olympic gold medal?
Will he return to the Tour in search of the one-stage victory that would propel him to the top of the all-time lists?
His Personality and Personal Endeavors
Cavendish has been regarded as self-assured and even haughty.
He said: When reporters at the Tour française ask me whether I am the greatest sprinter in the world, I respond “Yes, which is perceived as arrogant, but if they do not ask me, I don’t say it.”
Aside from race, he is perceived differently. In everyday life, he is a courteous gentleman. He is not the kind of rider that calls you to complain, as the majority of riders do. He calls to inquire how you are doing!
Cavendish married supermodel Peta Todd on the 5th of October 2013 in London, becoming a father (born in 2006) out of a prior partner. Together, Cavendish as well as Todd, have 3 children Frey, Casper, and Delilah Cavendish. He owns three residences: a place on the Isle of Mann, one in Essex; as well as a training center in Tuscany, Italy.
In January 2015, Cavendish proposed the construction of a Rise Above Cycling event, a cyclosportive to be held in August 2015 in Chester as well as North Wales.
The College of Chester granted him an honorary degree in science for his contributions to cycling in November 2015.
In April of 2017, he was afflicted with Epstein–Barr virus and spent many months recuperating before competing in the 2017 Tour de France. In August of 2018, he received a second diagnosis of the virus and retired from training and competition to recover.
He Wrote A Book
Boy Racer, his debut book, was released in June and detailed his career to this point.
In a press conference in London before the Tour of France (2009), Cavendish said that the autobiography was too soon to be considered a comprehensive biography and also that his “greatest motive for creating it was to explain me better” because of the way he saw himself in post-stage interviews.
In his opinion, the booklet is “more of a memoir of previous year ‘s Tour stages victories.”