First past the post: Mark Cavendish honoured in special set of stamps
Isle of Man Post Office release of commemorative set coincides with start of Tour de France later this month

The Isle of Man Post Office is honouring world champion Mark Cavendish through a special set of commemorative stamps that will be released next Tuesday, 19 June ahead of the Team Sky rider will be starting the defence of his green jersey in the Tour de France. A special 50p coin is also being minted, bearing the Queen's head on one side, and Cavendish on the other.

The stamps depict various landmarks in the 27-year-old's career, starting with his victory, wearing the island's colours, in the scratch race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Other achievements recorded are his first pro victory, achieved with T-Mobile in the 2007 Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen, his 2009 Milan-San Remo victory, taking the green jersey in last year's Tour de France, winning this year's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in the rainbow jersey and, of course, the race in which he won those rainbow bands in Copenhagen last year.

The version of that stamp included on a special souvenir sheet - available, as are other editions as well as the 50p coin from the Isle of Man Post Office - is enhanced with augmented reality technology that makes the stamp 'come to life' when a smartphone is waved over it.

That souvenir sheet goes on sale on 30 June, the day the Tour de France begins in Liege. while the stamps themselves are officially released on 19 June, and the Isle of Man Post Office is accepting pre-orders online.

All the pictures used on the stamps - other than the Comonwealth Games one, which is from Getty Images - are by top cycling snapper Tim De Waele, while the text that accompanies the presentation pack was written by journalist and author Richard Allen, who is based on the Isle of Man.

Commenting on the release of the stamps, Cavendish said: “I’m proud to feature in this stamp collection and delighted with the images which have been selected.

"It’s a great honour for me personally, but it’s also a reflection of the widespread interest in cycling now and that’s always great to see.”

Geoff Corkish, Chairman of the Isle of Man Post Office, added: “This is a unique issue which will appeal to cycling fans and stamp collectors alike.

"Mark is a marvelous ambassador for the Isle of Man and for his sport and I’m delighted that his greatest victories are celebrated in this prestigious first edition stamp issue which has been approved by Her Majesty The Queen.

"His tremendous achievements in recent years have done a great deal to promote the Isle of Man around the world and the stamp issue is just one example of the pride the Isle of Man has for all of his achievements.”


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.