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Former world champion drops strong hint he may swap pedals for an engine once cycling career over

Mark Cavendish, as you might expect of a native of the Isle of Man, is a bit into motorbike racing – and now he’s said he may consider switching to racing them once his cycling career is over.

The 32-year-old made the revelation in an interview published last month by Esquire Middle East, ahead of his season-opener in this week’s Dubai Tour.

 

The interview was conducted in December, when Cavendish was staying in the region after attending the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, which was held in late December.

“I’ve been in the Middle East for a couple of weeks now. I am loving it here. I come about five times a year.”

Asked whether he was a fan of F1, or just bikes, he replied: “Yes. I have always loved it. Anything to do with motors, or machines…vehicles really. Just love them.”

But when it was put to him whether he wished he’d been a Formula 1 driver, he said: “Na. I don’t think I’m good enough.

“Everybody thinks that it’s like driving a car down the promenade, it’s totally not the same. To be honest, I prefer motorbikes more; I would like to race them instead.”

Cavendish, who said he has “a couple of good” motorbikes, was asked whether he might switch to racing them once he retired from pro cycling.

“In all seriousness, I think so,” he said.

The Dimension Data has pals to whom he could turn to for tips – he’s good friends with top British rider Cal Crutchlow – and in 2015 went for a spin around Cape Town’s Killarney circuit with former elite cyclist, Jonny Towers, who tweeted afterwards: “Turns out the @MarkCavendish can ride a Moto pretty fast too ... First time on a track and only 3 secs off lap record."

Yesterday, speaking ahead of the pre-race press conference at the Dubai Tour, he was asked whether he really might race motorbikes in the future.

He said: “Anything is possible, you know. I will just look at my options for the short term and the long term and see what I do with my future.”

Cavendish finished 16th in today’s opening stage of the Dubai Tour, which was won by LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen.

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.