Reigning world champion Mark Cavendish says fatherhood is going to make him an even better bike racer.
Cavendish, speaking to London’s Daily Mail, said the added responsibility of having a baby with girlfriend Peta Todd is going to give him added maturity and incentive to perform at his best in what’s going to be a huge year for the Manxster.
“The baby is permanently on my mind and it’s incredible how much it’s changing me,” Cavendish told The Daily Mail. “Far from blunting my edge, it’s making me want to strive even harder because everything I do will affect my child’s future. There will be no holding back in 2012.”
With his move to Team Sky and the Summer Olympic Games on tap this summer in London, all eyes will be on Cavendish.
His top goals are to defend his green jersey at the Tour de France, where he will ride alongside co-captain Bradley Wiggins. The Tour wraps up just six days before the Olympic road race.
Cavendish reiterated earlier comments that finishing strongly in the Tour is just as important as arriving in winning form for the Olympics despite having such a small gap between the Tour and Olympics.
“It’s not ideal but I’m a professional cyclist whose job is to ride in the Tour de France,” he continued. “All my Olympic rivals will also be in the Tour, so I’m not at a disadvantage. If I didn’t think I could win both, I wouldn’t attempt it.”
Cavendish once again shot down speculation that Wiggins and Cavendish will have troubles at Team Sky. In fact, Cavendish said having the team ride for him in the sprint stages will help keep Wiggins out of trouble in the sometimes-dangerous transition stages.
“It will help because Brad crashed last year. He was too far back in the peloton where accidents tend to happen whereas with me pushing for sprint points, he’ll be further up the field and out of trouble,” Cavendish said. “We’ll work as a team and it will take pressure off us with both in the team.”