2011 is all but over but there is still time for more plaudits to arrive at Mark’s door ! After all the achievements of 2011 what can he do in 2012 that will move the “ goal Posts ” further ?
Winning the Green Jersey of the Tour de France would be enough for most Cycle Racers but he has put in the work and thus conquered the Road Race World Championship and then took the victory at the Olympic Road Race trial event !
After the announcement of the demise of HTC high road Team most of the racers signed on with other teams but Mark bided his time and thus created a suspense filled with speculation on which team would win the race for his signature . Previous commitments to sponsors would have been part of the reason for the delayed announcement but the eventual decision in favour of “ Sky ” has been greeted with favour by his new team mates . Quite rightly they have recognised the “ added value ” that he brings to the team . Some people are able to motivate others to raise their sights and Mark is one of those individuals .
Normally the person wearing the World Champions Jersey has a quiet year and many speculate that it is a “ poisoned chalice ” but Cadel Evans was able to win one of Cycling’s Monuments whilst wearing the Jersey so it is conceivable that Mark will also raise the bar during the coming season . During his time with High Road Mark was advised by Eric Zabel amongst others and he appears to be the type who absorbs all the info fed to him and puts it to good use . Losing some of his former leadout train will not be of any great consequence as he has demonstrated his ability to do a “ Robbie Mc Ewan ” on more than one occasion including a lone winning sprint in this past Tour de France .
Missing out on medalling in the 2008 Beijing Olympic will only motivate him to greater efforts in the 2012 London Olympic Games . Should he be successful there it is quite possible that he will get the “ Royal Nod ” and be invited to Buck House once again to adjust his credentials . I am sure Peta would enjoy being Lady Peta !
Recently he has become quite the Media Star cleaning up all the “ Sporting Awards ” in which he has been proposed . Cycling and Bike Racing in recent times has become very much the “ In Sport ” thanks to his efforts and those of Sir Chris Hoy and Brad Wiggins . There is a wealth of talent in the British Cycling Team now and we should not overlook the talents of the likes of Geraint Thomas and others who will compete strongly for any of the places available for London 2012 !
2011 as been a great year for Mark and as he enjoys the festive season no doubt he will be reflecting on his great good fortune and seeking the inspiration to raise the stakes and make 2012 even more successful .
I for one would wish to be at ALL the events that he will be competing in as the wealth of talent out there will produce some memorable clashes of the Titans in 2012 !