The Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish Visits Oakley World Headquarters
It’s been an eventful 2012 for Mark Cavendish to say the least. The Manx Missile, secured another three Tour de France stage victories this year, including his 23rd career stage win, making him the most accomplished sprinter in the Tour’s history, in terms of victories by a sprinter. While the focus of the 2012 Tour seemed to be on teammate, Bradley Wiggins, Cavendish took it mostly upon himself to rally for his stage victories, including his fourth consecutive final-stage win on the Champs Elysees. Cavendish became a father this year with the birth of his baby girl, Delilah Grace. And most recently, he announced he’d be leaving TeamSky to ride for Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2013, making them a powerhouse squad, consisting of current time-trial World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Tony Martin along with Belgian superstar Tom Boonen, to name a few.
With all the chaos, success and a bit of frustration from 2012 behind him, Cavendish remains as determined as ever. He can be quiet at times, but when he wants to be heard, make no mistake about it, Mark Cavendish is heard. He is armed and dangerous and ready to get the 2013 road cycling season under way. His deep love for the sport of cycling and his passion to be the best are more evident than ever.
In a recent visit to Oakley World Headquarters in Orange County, California, we caught up with Cavendish to discuss some of the brooding topics surrounding the upcoming year, his desire to be amongst the sport’s best riders and his need for premium race equipment. Check out what he had to say:
Oakley: First lets talk about last season. How did it go in your mind? How did it compare to others? Highlights?
Mark Cavendish: I thought it was alright. I won 15 races and wanted to do the Rainbow Jersey proud and win with it. And that’s what I did.
Oakley: Speaking of the Rainbow Jersey…what was that like to ride as the reigning World Champion?
MC: It’s great. It’s a massive honor. It’s a big tradition in cycling to honor that jersey and I really wanted to do it. It was incredible. Every time I’d put it on, I’d look down at the stripes and it was incredible.
Oakley: You secured your 23rd career Tour de France stage win this year, giving you the most stage victories as a sprinter in the Tour’s history. What does that mean to you?
MC: It’s nice to be in the record books, but I want to continue to win. I’m not at the stage in my career where I can look back on what I’ve done. That’s for when I retire. So I just continue to look forward and try to win.
Oakley: What kind of roles do Oakley products play in both your cycling career and your personal life?
MC: I’ve been using Oakley for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been with Oakley for about ten years now. And it’s just wicked. There’s nothing else I’d even consider. There really isn’t. Growing up they were the coolest glasses, so at that time, you don’t really think about performance. Its when you turn professional that you begin to care more about performance and there’s nothing that matches it; both on style and on performance. And they’re innovative. They’re [Oakley] always coming up with new ideas and keep pushing the boundaries. Kind of like the Beyond Reason campaign.
Every brand I work with, I have to believe in. I won’t stand and talk about something if I don’t believe in it and I really believe in the Oakley way.
And my prescription glasses they look really cool. They get done and I don’t feel like I’m hiding behind glasses. They’re something that people always comment on that they’re nice glasses.
Oakley: Going back to the Beyond Reason campaign that you mentioned earlier; is there a part of your sport or your performance where the phrase “Beyond Reason” really connects with you?
MC: You can’t get by on talent, you know? Cycling is such a tough race. The person who wins is generally the person who’s done the most work and the most preparation for it. I’m a perfectionist. I go to every little detail to squeeze out every little bit of performance. That’s where that extra percent comes from.
If you try and eliminate all the things that can make you fail, you’re going to have a better chance of winning and most of the time, you’ll come out on top.
Oakley: Looking forward to next season, what’s on the schedule? What are you most looking forward to?
MC: The Tour de France again. I want to continue to campaign for the Green Jersey. I want to continue to win five stages. For me, it’s just the biggest excitement. I just want to perform there.
I’ve got a new team [Omega Pharma Quick-Step], a strong team. So I’m motivated for the Tour de France. I think it’ll be good!
Oakley: And ultimately, career-wise, what’s the plan? What are your career long goals?
MC: If there’s a book written about the history of great riders in cycling, I want to be in it. I want to be in that list of great riders. That’s what I want.
Oakley: Finally, your trip here to Oakley World Headquarters, and California in general, has been short, but what did you think?
MC: I love California! I love it so much. It’s my first time down here [Orange County]. But it’s wicked. I had a brilliant ride this morning and I’ve had fun here at Oakley. It’s tough to take a look around here and think you’re not going to have a good day.
Oakley’s just cool. It’s a cool place to work. You always see photos of the outside and it’s the same inside. It just seems like a cool place to work. I might work here when I retire!