BBC1 10:45 tonight Inside Sport: Mark Cavendish tells it like it is

Cavendish TV interview promises some typically straight talking

by Tony Farrelly   May 4, 2009  

Mark Cavendish (pic Photosport International).jpg

In a much trailed interview tonight, (you can watch a taster here) Mark Cavendish tells the great British public, well those of them that watch Inside Sport, what he's been telling the cycling media for some time – success on the road trumps the Olympics every time.

"For me, the Olympics is not even in the top 10 of what you can achieve," he told the BBC's Inside Sport programme. Just to add extra spice Team GB performance director, Dave Brailsford will be sitting on the couch with Gaby Logan.

"But you ask the average member of the public in Britain and they'll look at you like you're mad."

Last year Cavendish contrasted Olympic medallists “opening supermarkets” unfavaourably with the rewards on offer for success on the road – possibly a tad off the mark, if you're a really successful Olympian you can chuck a lucrative cereal sponsorship in to the mix as well.

It would appear that any Olympic aspirations that Cavendish may have had have definitely been consigned to history, at least as far as the track is concerned, if the bits of the interview that have been released are anything to go by. It would seem that despite his recent surprise appearance at the track worlds following his Milan San Remo win Cavendish has put the lid on his Great Britain track career.

As it is, his comments at the time that he was treating the Worlds as a “warm down week” after Milan San Remo can't have gone down to well with the powers that be at team GB. Many certainly interpreted them as a two fingered gesture to the Team GB leadership.

What is clear is that Cavendish is still sore about what he perceives as the disparity between what he gave up for the Olympics: the chance of winning more stage victories and possibly the green jersey; with the level of effort put in to helping him win gold in the madison.

Cavendish is equally forthright on the subject of doping in cycling lambasting the media for its treatment of professional cycling.

"If you put the time and effort into catching the cheats you're going to catch them, and that's what cycling does," 

"I did tests 64 times last year - 64 times! Tell me anybody in other sports gets that. I have to pay 20% of all my prize money to anti-doping.

"Cycling, the governing body of cycling, the race organisers, they care more about a clean and fair sport than the image of the sport.

"This is what angers me about the press. My sport is doing everything it can and it's getting a bad name for it."

If the rest of the interview lives up to the trailer we should all be in for a treat.