The Isle of Man’s Nick Corkill Memorial Race had a surprise last-minute entrant on Sunday. His name wasn’t on any of the start lists, but there, signing on with everyone else, was Mark Cavendish, former world champion and 34-time Tour de France stage winner. 

“When I turned up, I could see his bike, and that was the telltale sign,” says James Meakin, one of the day’s competitors. “It’s weird to see an elite pro like him, and his bike, outside a village hall, pinning on a number with all the amateurs. But there he was, chilling casual like any other amateur road racer.”



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