Mark Cavendish starts the Tour de France tomorrow aiming to win the Green Jersey. After 4,000km in 3 weeks, he came within a whisker of this last year, the prize for the top sprinter. In interviews on the eve of the race, he exudes a quiet, focused confidence, derived from now knowing what it takes to win through.
Dave Brailsford, the cycling über-coach (and of who’s fantastic methods I’ve blogged before) also reminded us all that winning in France requires depths of mental strength unimaginable to the general population.
In a fascinating insight into his British team’s preparations, as the Rotterdam start beckoned the riders were said to be incredibly relaxed. Apparently content that all that needed to be done was done so.
Rival team sprinter Cavendish himself was sporting a pair of specially commissioned cycling shoes and socks. They’re green. Whenever he needs his memory jogged as to why he’s going through such pain, he simply needs to look down to his pedals. A cracking motivator. One that won’t go away.