Racist? Moi? Cavendish denies French-baiting

Rider hits back at newspaper claims

by Tom Henry   July 16, 2009  

Mark Cavendish wins - pic courtesy Photosport International

Mark Cavendish has denied racially insulting French riders at the Tour de France, claiming that some of his best friends are French.

Cavendish, who grabbed a fourth stage victory this week, was the focus of attention in L’Equipe newspaper, which published the allegations by anonymous French riders.

"Cavendish is racist, he's anti-French," said one rider. "He should be careful. We're not going to put up with his attitude much longer."

Today, Cavendish hit back. His latest Tweet said: “I have no problem with French people. Some of my best friends are French.”

Earlier, the Isle of Man rider admitted that he could be ‘arsey’ in the heat of the moment, but the nationality of the rider on the receiving end was irrelevant.

He said: "I didn't say this. I had to laugh at that article. It would have been nice to have the name of the rider who supposedly said this so that I can go and sort it out.

"I get a little hot-headed sometimes, but it's irrelevant the nationality of the rider when you get arsey at someone. When you're a rider with a public profile, you can't be friends with everybody. It's going to be like that.

"I take it as a compliment that they're going to try and start shit about something that's not about bike riding, because they've got nothing to criticise my riding about."

5 user comments

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Since when has French been a 'race'?

"We're not going to put up with his attitude much longer" - what you going to do? beat him to the line? Smile

save your talking for the tarmac, 'anonymous french rider'

honestly, this is such a non story!

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [232 posts]
16th July 2009 - 10:12


The dictionary definition does confirm that the French are indeed a race, albeit a bitter one...

1. A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.

2. A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution: the German race.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
16th July 2009 - 11:24


I'm not racist, but those shoulder- shrugging, garlic- reeking, snail- chompers are just annoyed that plucky Dumoulin didn't win on Bastille Day. Smile

For 'anonymous French rider,' read ****- stirring journalist wanting a story, though.

Having said that, Cav comes across badly in interviews- I've met him in the flesh and he's a true gent but this doesn't seem to translate to the screen. Quite surprising to hear him use a version of the 'some of my best friends are black' argument, apparently without irony.

Wonder what Erik Zabel thinks of Cav's WWII paint job, too!

posted by wild man [286 posts]
16th July 2009 - 11:39


I think Homer (Simpson that is, not the ancient Greek poet) had it right..."cheese eating surrender monkeys"

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
16th July 2009 - 11:45


At the risk of sounding pedantic, wasn't it Springfield's ain Rabbie Burns, Grounds Keeper Willie Nerd

posted by wild man [286 posts]
17th July 2009 - 8:41