Is this a ping thing?
Mark Cavendish thinks so. He’s pretty damn sure he would have slapped Tyler Farrar silly in the final stage into Madrid if his rear wheel didn’t ping, lose a spoke and end up with a serious case of brake rub.
Instead Farrar won easily and then, God forbid, refused to acknowledge the Cavendish “ping” to the press by way of apologizing for winning the stage. Uhh, like that’s his job?
“I saw Tyler after the finish… but he didn’t say anything to the press about what happened with my wheel. I don’t like making excuses, but there was an obvious reason why I didn’t have my usual speed,” said Cavendish.
Maybe Farrar should also have diminished his win by saying the Cavendish was fatigued, got a lousy massage and had a pasta dinner that was under-cooked.
It’s difficult to beat Cavendish — first you have to outsmart his train and then manage to generate near sonic speed to beat the fastest sprinter in the world. Finally, you have to put up with his excuses and the belittlement of your accomplishment.
In stage 13 Cavendish won the sprint but accused Tyler Farrar and Wouter Weylandt of Quick Step of conspiring together to beat him and irregular sprinting. Uhh, ask Heinrich Haussler about Cavendish on that one.
Then in the Vuelta’s final stage the Brit lost and quickly threw out the ping thing. Funny, Twisted Spoke doesn’t recall Tyler Farrar whining about sprinting against Cavendish with a fractured wrist in the Tour de France.
Cavendish has a history of dumping on Farrar so it’s a pretty spectacular expectation to think the Garmin sprinter should go out of his way to explain why Mr. Manx was supposed to have won in Madrid.
Now Twisted Spoke thinks that Mark Cavendish is a nearly awesome guy, he wears his heart on his sleeve and it’s not easy to be young and famous and learn your lessons in public. There’s a lot to appreciate about his boyish enthusiasm and inability to censor himself. Still, the Manx Missile could do with some charm school and a dose of class.
Once in a while you get beat, for whatever reason, good or bad, hard luck or slow speed, it happens. Doesn’t really matter what you feel at that point, other guy won. Throw a helmet if you gotta. Just remeber: Yap shut. Be gracious.
Step back for a millisecond and be thankful for four juicy wins and the undisputed recognition throughout the peloton that you’re the God of Speed, the Topus Dogimus, the Manx Missile.
Look, everybody’s got excuses: Farrar lost his leadout man the first day of the Vuelta. Shit happens. Don’t be an ugly, greedy, spoiled, egotistical and petty guy with too many fast twitch fibers.
We’re recommending some remedial work for the Manxman from the Etiquette Police. Their comprehensive online course will upgrade Cav’s social skills. As the special message from Professor Etique says, “Etiquette 101 is a highly useful course designed to polish the rough edges in your social skills. It will help you develop the elements of politeness in today’s cross cultural environment.”
That may just do the trick but if an intensive program would provide most lasting results, we direct Mark to Gloria Star and her Professional Althetes Finishing School. As the course states, “Discover a wealth of knowledge on working with the media that will positively affect your performance and showcase you at your personal and professional best.” Of special note, there are specifics on “saying thank-you with style,” and “image evaluation and re-engineering.” Yeah, Manx re-engineered, right on.
Be a champion. Mark Cavendish certainly has the talent, the speed, the drive, the focus, the hunger. But Twisted Spoke is perhaps misguided and old-schooled in thinking that part of being a champion is knowing how to both win and lose.
Cavendish is half way there.