News: Rod Ellingworth – Mark signing is fantastic for us

Exclusive: We talk to the coach who has guided Mark from a talented junior to a superstar in six years, Rod Ellingworth

A person largely overlooked by the press, for the success of Mark Cavendish is Sky team coach Rod Ellingworth. “It’s fantastic for us” he told VeloUK exclusively this afternoon.  “Not just for Team Sky, but for cycling in Britain and it’s a big step forward.”

“Team Sky is about inspiring people to ride bikes and for sure having Cav, the World champion and Green jersey winner, Milan San Remo winner, 20 stages in the Tour, put all those things together and you have quite an inspiration for people to get on their bikes.”

Where it all began, Rod Ellingworth coaching a young group of riders who have gone on to become top pros.

Asked if he is surprised knowing Mark as he did as a Junior, whether Mark would reach the dizzy heights he has reached over the last few years, Rod replied “when he joined us here on the academy, nobody would have thought this guy is going to win 20 stages of the Tour and everything else such as the Worlds. But for sure he has that edge like all the lads who have left the academy and gone on to a pro team have.”

“The gift that Mark has is he is so fast and then put on top of that his attitude towards it which sometimes gets him into trouble I know but he is super super determined and as long as he knows people are behind him, he delivers. If you support him like we have, well, you’ve seen what he can do.”

Olympic Boost?
“For the Games, this signing is super important. We can give Mark a proper run into the Olympics which I am sure any team would have done for him but with us it means no compromise. He just wants to be as fit as he can be. After what happened at the Worlds, we’ll build on that now. The Worlds was part of the Olympic programme, one of the stepping stones along the way.”

“Some people say the Worlds is bigger than the Olympics but that depends on who you are. For Mark it (the worlds) was a huge huge objective but I think the Olympics it’s equally so. I think with the Olympics, Mark just wanted to be an Olympic champion and he didn’t say in what discipline so it could have been the Madison and if that was still in, he maybe would have gone for that.”
“He’ll be in good nick for the Olympics though, for sure.”

Tags: ,