Video: Cavendish vs Petacchi, who is quicker... at solving a Rubik's Cube?
Omega Pharma-Quick Step riders enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry on team bus... but who won?

If you thought the battle between Mark Cavendish and Alessandro Petacchi to be the fastest man out there came to an end when the Italian joined Omega Pharma-Quick Step midway through last season, think again - a video from the Belgian UCI WorldTour team shows them battling it out to be quicker to solve a Rubik's Cube.

The pair have amassed an astonishing 91 Grand Tour stages between them - currently, Petacchi leads Cavendish 48 to 43, but at 12 years the Italian's junior, the Manx rider certainly has time on his side - and both are former winners of Milan-Sanremo, which they will ride on Sunday.

So it's clear both are driven by the will to win, and that applies equally off the bike as on it. The video also reinforces something Cavendish highlighted when he won Stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this week - the team spirit makes it feel as if, age differences apart, "we really feel like a group of kids going out to ride our bikes."

It wasn't always like that. In the 2010 Tour de France, Cavendish won five stages to the then Lampre-Farnese rider's two, but it was Petacchi who took home the green jersey.

And the following year, on Stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia in Parma, Cavendish remonstrated with his future team mate, after a hard fought sprint - although the bonus seconds he got for being runner-up on the stage meant he did get into the race leader's maglia rosa.

Petacchi wins in Parma; picture Daniele Badolato/LaPresse

We won't tell you who won the Rubik's Cub battle. But neither of them got close to the 11.84 seconds achieved by nine-year-old Chinese boy, Li Dongyi, shown in this BBC report.


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


Argos74 [358 posts] 1 year ago

Looks like they're both using basic layers method - slow but easy to memorise the sequences. Guys, guys! On the big wheel please!

Chris [136 posts] 1 year ago

I used to take my Rubik's cube apart and grease it up with vaseline to get that extra smooth action. Can't remember how to solve it now but in my day I was way faster than Cav.
Feels good to say that.

Airzound [1087 posts] 1 year ago

Where's Greipel?

Cav going for green?