UPDATE: 2022 UCI Gran Fondo Isle of Man results HERE.
It’s been a roller-coaster ride lately for Marc Cavendish MBE, recognized across the globe as the greatest sprinter ever in the sport of cycling.
After winning the British Road Championships in June and being left off his team’s 2022 Tour de France squad, denying him the opportunity to win his 35th TDF stage victory and set a new record for most ever stage wins, he learned through social media on Monday that his Soudal-Quick-Step team in 2023 does not have room for him.
“He is not part of our project,” team boss Patrick Lefevere told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
So how did Cavendish react?
The 37 year-old former World Champion signed up to ride the UCI Gran Fondo Isle of Man race this Sunday 17 July, along with upwards of a thousand amateur weekend cycling hobbyists.
That’s just the kind of guy he is, one that enjoys riding and racing bikes with cyclists of all types.
In 2019 Cavendish participated in the amateur gran fondo race when he was also left off his team’s Tour de France squad (Dimension Data). He was among the early leaders, but dropped out and did not finish after suffering double punctures.
The 137 kilometers long race allows amateur cyclists the opportunity to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships taking place in Trento, Italy in September, if they finish in the top 20% of their age/gender category.
As a current professional rider, even if Cavendish wins UCI Gran Fondo Isle of Man he is not eligible to race in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, but a victory might help him find a team that will take him to the 2023 Tour de France…
Photos: ASO, Gran Fondo Isle of Man