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Man admits robbery at Mark Cavendish’s home

The 28-year-old originally denied taking part in the “distressing” raid on the former world champion’s home, while two other men are due to stand trial in January

A man has pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery in connection with a break-in at former world champion Mark Cavendish’s home last November.

28-year-old Ali Sesay, of Rainham, east London, admitted to stealing Cavendish’s watch, phone and safe, along with his wife Peta’s watch, phone and suitcase.

Sesay, along with two other men, had previously pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The other defendants, Romario Henry, aged 31, and Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, both from south-east London, continue to deny two counts of robbery and are due to stand trial from 3 January. Henry and Okorosobo were remanded in custody at an earlier hearing.

> Men plead not guilty to violent robbery at Mark Cavendish’s home 

Sesay has also been remanded in custody, with Judge Mary Loram QC informing the 28-year-old that his sentencing would be adjourned until the outcome of the other defendants’ trial.

At 2.35am on 27 November 2021 four masked men broke into Cavendish’s home in Ongar, Essex, just days after the sprinter had returned there after being discharged from hospital in Belgium following a serious crash at the Ghent Six Day, in which he sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Cavendish said he was “violently attacked” during the burglary, with the robbers escaping with two ultra-expensive Richard Mille watches and a Louis Vuitton suitcase. According to the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider, the armed gang also threatened his wife and children before ransacking the house.

> Mark Cavendish burglary: Two more men charged over violent robbery at sprinter's home 

37-year-old Cavendish has been the subject of fervent transfer speculation in recent days, with the French UCI ProTeam B&B Hotels-KTM rumoured to be interested in securing the Manx rider’s signature for 2023.

Despite winning a stage of the Giro d’Italia and becoming British national road race champion for the second time, Cavendish was denied the opportunity to surpass Eddy Merckx and become the Tour de France’s most successful stage winner when he was left out of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s squad for cycling’s biggest race.

> "It's 50/50": Team boss hopeful of Mark Cavendish signing 

While his appearance at a Rapha event in July set tongues wagging over a potential move to EF Education-EasyPost, this week B&B Hotels’ manager Jérôme Pineau confirmed that his team were interested in making Tour history with the 34-time stage winner, but that the deal is “quite complicated” and remains a “50-50” chance.

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Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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