In a perfectly normal development, Mark Cavendish has been coaching eight amateur cyclists who share his name ahead of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.
The Mark Cavendish team comprises a number of people who’ve always been called Mark Cavendish, but also cycling fans who love him so much that they’ve legally changed their names by deed poll to join the team.
A tad disappointingly, all of the Mark Cavendishes are male.
In the video, we see a boot camp at which Cav gives a few tips on how to anticipate the movements of other riders, how to stay aerodynamic and how to train. Afterwards, they all go for a pint of Amstel because it’s a sponsored thing to 'mark' the brewer’s partnership with RideLondon.
Speaking to The Mirror, the best-known of the Mark Cavendishes said: “It’s quite a surreal experience to be training a team of amateur cyclists all called Mark Cavendish. I don’t think I’ve ever said my own name out loud so much before. I’ve really enjoyed training my Amstel team and they’re all looking in great shape. I’m now looking forward to seeing them riding together at Prudential RideLondon.”
Ifeoma Dozie, Brand Director at Amstel, added: "Through the guidance of the British cycling legend, our team of everyday Mark Cavendishes will have much more in common than just a name by the time Prudential RideLondon has finished.”
Cavendish is still unsure when he himself will be able to return from illness. Speaking to Eurosport during a visit to the Giro d’Italia last month, he said:
"I don't feel ill, I just feel a bit unfit. It's been a long time off the bike. Some days I feel on top of the world, some days I don't, but at least I'm riding my bike and that's the main thing.
"I can't put a definitive time on when I'm back. It could be 10 days, it could be one year, I really don't know. But I'll just keep riding and see.
"I've been watching the Giro and Tour of California on TV, that's all I can do, watch TV. I can't do anything else except ride. It's kind of difficult but to come and see my friends and team-mates and the guys at the start today, it's been real nice."