Awareness of island nation raised across the globe says Minister

It’s always a bit patronising to the other residents, not to mention cartographically incorrect, to say an individual’s actions or achievements have put their homeland “on the map.” So we won’t.

But in the case of Mark Cavendish and the Isle of Man, an awful lot of people will probably have heard about the little island in the Irish Sea for the first time thanks to the new Tour de France Green Jersey holder.

That’s certainly the view held at government level on the island with Economic Development minister Allan Bell stating: "Mark's success has definitely had an impact on people's awareness of the Isle of Man all around the world ... he is an excellent ambassador."

That awareness is likely to be raised further in the next 12 months given that, as well as hoping to retain his Green Jersey at the 2012 Tour, barring unforeseen circumstances Cavendish will be attempting to succeed in London where he failed three years ago in Beijing, by securing an Olympic medal.

His father David told the BBC: "Mark will be immensely proud to represent Great Britain, as he is the Isle of Man. He was disappointed after Beijing in 2008, but I know he will be giving 110% as usual to win gold.

"He is one of the hottest properties in world sport at the moment and I know that he would love to win a medal at both the Olympics and the World Championships later this year in Copenhagen."

If Olympic glory has yet to be secured, the Manxman’s status in the pantheon of Tour legends is already set in stone.

Following his five stage victories at this year's Tour, Cavendish has now won 20 stages of cycling's greatest race in his career, placing him joint-sixth in the all-time stage winners' list, just two behind Lance Armstrong.

While bettering Eddy Merckx’s 34 stage victories may be a tall order, another nine stage wins in the remainder of his career would see him overhaul Bernard Hinault, currently the Tour’s second most successful stage winner.