Mark Cavendish, Victoria Pendleton, Playboy Bunnies, Mario Cippolini – have you spotted the link?

I’m delighted that the British public can see a Brits wearing the World Champion’s hoops. Especially someone who’s said “I love fashion, style, anything to do with design” But, there’s a but…. it seems a shame that with less than 100 days to go two of our medal hopefuls who are both World Champions are getting along as well as a bag of ferrets.

Don't put two of these in a room together - via

The story goes that Cav’s a highly intelligent yet emotional basket case. He wears his heart on his sleeve, like all sprinters supposedly. He hasn’t learnt the order of “engage brain then open mouth”, especially when there’s a journalist in the room. But then the story goes, that’s his charm, that’s the allure; the frisson of recklessness. He’s the McEnroe of cycling.

The story goes that Victoria Pendleton’s a dog loving, star struck bag of nerves. She’s a roller coaster of worries and form but always comes good at the right time on the big stage. It’s sh#t or bust at London 2012. The biggest build up to the end of a career since Borg quit tennis. Whatever happens in the velodrome, after the riders cross the line she’s retiring, getting a life and getting married according to The Sun.

The story also goes that Cav hasn’t been very nice to Victoria. In fact he’s supposed to have made her cry. He’s told stories that she’s more interested in “being the face of her sport”. What does it matter to him? But really he’s probably jealous that she’s got six more world champion jerseys and one more Olympic gold medal than he has.

This is all grist to the mill for The Sun, whose interview in their Woman section is a great opportunity to explore the softer, emotional side of being an elite sportswoman. It’s also a great opportunity for a snap of Victoria dressed as a Playboy bunny minus the ears. A quick Google search for Cav’s other half will return images of Peta Todd as a Playboy bunny minus the ears and bodice. But I’m not here to get righteous about women getting undressed.

As if by magic, at the sound of women undressing, it’s time to cross over to Mario Cippolini who’s recently stated that Cav’s not a champion in the mould of Indurain, Gimondi and Merckx. I’d never set my moral compass by Cippolini’s pull, especially as a little publicity does no harm to his eponymous bike range. But perhaps Cipo’s onto something: being a champ isn’t just about results it’s about behaviour and ultimately style. As my mum says “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything”.

P.S. I have a stack of worthy, high-brow posts waiting to be finished yet I keep being distracted by celeb cycling tittle tattle.


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