Cavendish says he doesn’t look “pro.”

Looking Pro in Tirreno.

Looking Pro in Tirreno.

Part of Mark Cavendish’s charm is his heart-on-sleeve personality.

He can’t help but speak his mind not matter what the recommendations of his PR handlers. If he thinks something is f’ed up, he’ll tell everyone. If he is angry about losing a sprint, the entire cycling world will hear about it.

Cavendish doesn’t pull his punches and we’re all grateful for his inability to censor himself. Cav quotes are always expressive — he’s pissed, thrilled, honored, baffled or disgusted,

After his sprint victory in stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico, the Manxman was his usual revealing self. The interesting admission: he needs a supportive, close-knit team around him to keep his moral up.

You see, Cav doesn’t think he looks like a professional athlete and the more encouragement he gets from his mates, the better he feels despite the lack of pro physique. They act as mirror — “No Cav, buddy, you look totally pro!”

Cavendish put it this way: ”It’s obvious that I don’t look like a pro and so what I do in my head is very important; my moral is vital,” he said. ”When there’s a good group around me, when you’ve got riders who give their everything, their last drop of energy, it’s a nice position to be in. I don’t want to let them down and want to going and do my best, while still having fun.”

Given the size of Cav’s ego and his outward projections of confidence, that’s a very revealing quote. For all his talent and drive, there’s still enough insecurity that he needs a strong circle of riders around him.

That support helps him become mentally stronger and dials up his motivation. All that counter-acts the feeling that he “doesn’t look like a pro.”

Well, he sure wins like a pro. He may be short and a little pudgy but who will argue the end results? The man has something like 25 Tour de France stage victories.

We should all look so un-pro.

 

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