There’s few people as well positioned to know exactly what Cal Crutchlow puts into his sport – and the power of a win – than close friend and 30-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish.
And following last week’s incredible debut win for the Isle of Man native, MCN caught up with the Olympic medallist to get his thoughts on his neighbour’s victory.
And, both friend and training partner to Crutchlow, the yellow jersey says his heart rate spiked even higher than Crutchlow’s on his way home from his silver medal success at this year’s Rio Olympics!
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“I was on the way back from London and was watching the race on the app on my phone. When he went back to fifteenth, I knew he had something planned for the rest of the race.
“It was incredible watching him pick his way through the field – but with five laps to go, my signal died, and I started to panic! I managed to get home with a lap to go, and rushed into the house screaming ‘get the TV on!’ It was incredible!”
But with Cavendish a frequent training partner of Crutchlow’s (and the motorbike racer the match of the sprinter over some of the Isle of Man’s climbs), the Manxman also knows how much hard work went into the win.
“He proper deserves it. He hasn’t had the easiest of times, but he’s always been there just chipping away. I always knew he could do it, and it’s dead nice to see. He works so hard away from racing, and he’s super good on a bike. People who don’t know him don’t always see what he puts into it, but those of us close to him know what it takes. That made watching his win dead emotional.”
And the father of two kids of his own, both of whom have had the chance to join him on a Tour de France podium, Cavendish says that the birth of Crutchlow’s daughter will only make him stronger.
“There’s been a massive change in him since Willow came along though. Now he’s just nuts, not absolutely batshit like he was before! It’s nice to see, though, and now that he’s doing it for someone, to make them proud, he’s got even more motivation. When he’s not on his bike, he’s got her in his arms – he’s a proper proud dad.”
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