Professional nonchalance

The Block 8 Blog – direct from Oakley’s bunker base in Beijing

Mark Cavendish dropped by the Oakley bunker on Sunday evening to find Kiwi Greg Henderson already lounging on the couch. 


The two Team Columbia teammates chatted about the upcoming Madison (in which both are competing), with one eye on the TV for the men’s team pursuit in which Cav’s Madison partner, Bradley Wiggins, was taking part.

Wiggins and his boys cruised through to set up Monday’s final against the Danes, but Cavendish seemed decidedly non-plussed. In fact, the entire British track team looked pretty underwhelmed.

According to Cavendish, it was because it wasn’t over for Wiggins yet.

“Of course he was pleased to win the individual pursuit yesterday,” Cav told us, “but he can’t really celebrate yet, he has to concentrate on the team pursuit finals and then our Madison on Tuesday.”

Only then will he and the team celebrate properly. For now, all eyes are focused on the future.

Cavendish, meanwhile, a little bored of training and of life in the athletes’ village, had his eyes firmly on a pair of all-green Oakley Radars – thinking ahead to next year’s Tour already and a bid for the green sprinters’ jersey.

At least, he would only grin when we suggested as much…

Completing the Madison triumvirate, the USA’s Mike ‘Meatball’ Friedman strolled in, ate some dinner with Oakley’s Steve Blick, and then stretched out on the sofas with a beer to watch some athletics.

As Blick says, “Meatball’s a guy who can help keep a little fun in the sport.”


Amen to that.