It has emerged that Mark Cavendish, competing for the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in next Sunday’s road race, turned down an offer from his HTC-Columbia team to put him up in a five-star hotel in Delhi, instead opting to stay with his team mates in the much-criticised athletes’ village.
A number of high-profile cyclists, including Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas and Greg Henderson have pulled out of the games citing concerns over their health and security, but Cavendish is determined to compete, despite his disappointment of not finishing the World Championship road race between Melbourne and Geelong last weekend.
The US ProTour outfit apparently made the offer of funding alternative, luxury accommodation to its star sprinter after learning of the difficulties facing athletes at the village, reports the website More Than The Games.
However, Cavendish, who in interviews following his stage victories in the Tour de France and Vuelta this year has gone out of his way to single out his colleagues for praise, is reported to have turned the offer down, insisting that he wanted to be treated the same as other members of the Isle of Man team.
Two of those team mates, Mark Christian and Chris Whorall, will be aiming for gold at the Indira Gandhi sports complex this morning in the 40km points race, which takes place at 9.50am.
Other finals taking place today are the women’s 25km points race and team sprint at, respectively, 8.08am and 8.58am, and the men’s keirin, where Scotland’s Ross Edgar will be hopeful of getting in amongst the medals, at 9.42am.
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.