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Mark Collie

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Saw Mark Collie in Philadelphia. He was such a nice guy. I had the Pleasure of talking with him for a long while. He let my son and his friend join him in his trailer. My son says that he is a cool dude. Lol. One of my all around favorite singers.

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mark collie tour 2023

mark collie tour 2023

Mark Cavendish knighted in King's Birthday Honours ahead of final Tour de France

C ycling’s best-ever sprinter Mark Cavendish has been knighted and will take aim at a record 35th Tour de France stage win later this year as Sir Mark Cavendish.

Cavendish received the knighthood as part of the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours in the UK for his outstanding contribution to cycling, charity work, and role as a sporting ambassador for the Isle of Man and the UK.

The Manxman has been an icon of British sport since bursting into the spotlight in the late 2000s, going on to build a legacy as one of sport’s most charismatic and compelling figures. 

Cavendish’s longevity has seen his career crossover with Lance Armstrong, Chris Froome and now Tadej Pogačar , maintaining high-level performance throughout the years.

It’s a testament to his continued hunger and never-say-die attitude that he’s been able to score wins from Scheldeprijs in 2007 right the way through to this year’s Tour de Hongrie where he ‘officially’ became the most successful sprinter ever after overtaking Mario Cipollini in professional wins.

“Sir Mark is a phenomenal athlete, role model and ambassador for both his sport and the Isle of Man," said Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, Alfred Cannan MHK. "He has performed at the highest level for more than a decade and his ‘never say die’ attitude is truly an inspiration for us all."

The characteristics that have seen Cavendish become the modern superstar he is today, have seemingly always been there, with those who mentored him as a young boy recognising the same drive and ambition to succeed that fuels him now in his first races at the Isle of Man National Sports Centre.

“When I was coaching Mark as a boy, I had no doubt that he would go on to achieve amazing things. He was very passionate and driven – he would study courses to work out the best way around and research the latest gadgets to help him succeed,” said Cavendish’s first-ever coach Dot Tilbury.

“He comes back to the Island regularly and goes cycling with his children. It always causes lots of excitement whenever they are over.

“Everyone in the Isle of Man, from young children to grannies, is so very proud of what he’s achieved. He has inspired many children to think that you don’t have to come from a big city to go after what you want in life.”

A born winner

Cavendish, 39, always knew he was going to succeed, backing up his arrogance from interviews at his first Tour de France, which didn’t end in the success he’s come to be known for, at each test throughout his illustrious career.

He’s racked up 34 wins at the biggest race, admitting multiple times how just one would have been enough. However, when he tried to hit the ground running in 2007 as a bullish 22-year-old on the T-Mobile Team, it came with crashes and tears during the UK Grand Départ and an eventual abandon in the Alps.

It wasn’t until his second attempt at the Tour that the success on the biggest stage he had awaited finally materialised, marking a new era of sprinting as he defeated Óscar Freire and Erik Zabel in Châteauroux and celebrated with his hands on his head in disbelief. 

It wasn’t so much an era of new sprinters, despite the rivalry he had with Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel who are greats in their own right, but the era of Mark Cavendish.

He would use the same celebration in Châteauroux 3 years later in 2011 when he returned to the city in central France before mirroring it once more some 13 years later at the 2021 Tour when he made a remarkable comeback to form.

And it was that 2021 edition of the race he became so synonymous with that was his greatest race, finding his way back to the absolute pinnacle of the sport and managing four more magic wins after five long years without his arms in the air at Grand Tour. 

The Comeback King

In fact, they were barely raised in celebration at all between 2016 and 2021, with time out due to Epstein-Barr Virus and clinical depression seeing his personal and professional life decline. Until he thankfully reached out for professional help from former team doctors and with the support of his family, got himself on a brighter path in his journey with mental health. 

Time’s got so bad that fans thought they had seen the last of Cavendish in 2020 when a teary post-race interview with Sporza at Gent-Wevelgem saw the then Bahrain-McLaren rider choke up and state “That’s perhaps the last race of my career”.

But then arrived a homecoming. First back to the team that he scored 43 wins at between 2013 and 2015, Patrick Lefevere’s Deceuninck Quick-Step, then to the Belgian squad’s Tour team. Brought in as a replacement for Sam Bennett, and off the back of his first pro wins in three seasons at Tour of Turkey. 

By this point, Cavendish was already second in the all-time Tour stage wins list to Eddy Merckx and well-established as a legend and probably the greatest sprinter of all time. 

Having not been at the Tour since 2018 when his best result was eighth and he finished outside the time limit, not to mention where he’d been the season prior, being back at the Tour itself was a victory. Let alone winning another stage.

Fougères, Châteauroux, Valence and Carcassonne. Four locations, some known, some new but the result was all the same. Cavendish had returned to winning ways and drew equal with Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins.

Only the 35th remains

While he’s a bona fide Tour legend, Cavendish’s success extended outside of July, also taking the win at Milan-San Remo in 2009 where he chased down a late move from Heinrich Haussler and nailed him on the line to become Britain’s first winner of La Classicissima since Tom Simpson in 1964. 

Cavendish was also the road World Champion in 2011 after probably his best season when he and HTC-Highroad were at their peak and dominated the Tour’s sprints to take five stage wins and the green jersey. Tony Martin, Bernie Eisel and long-term last man Mark Renshaw were among those on the team who were key to the Manx Missile firing.

With the rainbow jersey on his back in 2012, Cavendish made a big move as cycling boomed in the UK to Sky Procycling, where he’d reunite with many of the Brits he’d grown up racing with. 

This was alongside the likes of Bradley Wiggins, who Cavendish felt was like a brother, with the former becoming the first-ever Briton to win the Tour de France. An achievement that as part of that team Cavendish has stated was his greatest.

Wiggins would then produce one of the most memorable moments in British cycling history by accelerating into unknown territory for the maillot jaune up the Rue de Rivoli and doing part of the lead-out for Cavendish onto the world’s most famous street, the Champs-Élysées.

It led to the fourth win on that stage for Cavendish in a row on the final day of the Tour and was a mate helping out a mate for victory. Amazingly, as things tended to happen in Cavendish's career, another British friend of the Manxman would help him in a similar fashion 11 years later at the Giro d’Italia. 

This time it was Geraint Thomas, who after losing the Giro overall just the day prior, gestured his head to Cavendish’s final faltering lead-out rider and kept him near enough to the front to take a stunning sprint win in Rome in front of the Colosseum. 

With Cavendish as Astana Qazaqstan, they were no longer teammates at Sky nor British juniors making their way through the ranks together, but Thomas felt he could help a friend out so he did. This was Cavendish’s 54th and most recent Grand Tour victory and was due to be his last after announcing his retirement at the same Giro and crashing out of the Tour later that season. 

But Cavendish couldn’t stay away, still confident he had it in him to win once more at the Tour and stand alone at the top of the leaderboard away from Merckx. He’s come back from another broken collarbone and after looking shaky at the start of the season without much success, a win in Turkey seems to have him back on track. 

Whether he manages a record 35th or doesn’t, it won’t particularly matter. The legend of Sir Mark Cavendish as cycling’s finest-ever sprinter was cemented years ago. 

 Mark Cavendish knighted in King's Birthday Honours ahead of final Tour de France

mark collie tour 2023

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Mark Cavendish knighted ahead of Tour de France

Chris boardman awarded cbe at same ceremony.

Mark Cavendish at the giro d'italia

Mark Cavendish is headed into this year’s Tour de France aiming to surpass Eddy Merckx record of 34 stage wins. The two are currently tied for that astounding total. But, before he takes on that challenge, the Manx Missile earned another honour. As part of the King’s birthday celebrations, Cavendish was knighted.

So that’s Sir. Missile to you, now.

Whether or not Cavendish surpasses Merckx this July, his historic career already makes him worthy of the honour. Sir. Cav has a dizzying 164 professional victories, including those 34 Tour de France stage wins. Along with his prolific ability to win, Cavendish is known for his aggressive style of racing. That style has, on occasion, led to Cavendish being at odds with other racers as well as occasionally race umpires. As brusk as he was on the bike, the latter half of his long career has seen Cavendish become quite affable personality off the bike, especially on social media.

Chris Boardman was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) at the same ceremony. Boardman won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in track pursuit and is now the chair of Sport England.

Cavendish joins a rather exclusive club of Knighted cyclists. Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Jason Kenny are all KBE’s for their exploits on two wheels while five-time gold medalist Laura Kenny was recently made a Dame, making them a true royal couple of cycling.

No word yet on whether or not Cavendish is allowed to carry a sword into battle on the roads of France this summer.

mark collie tour 2023

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Mark Cavendish’s Final Tour de France Might Be His Most Relatable Yet

The 39-year-old sprinter, set to retire after this season, faces a tough battle. With eight flat stages ripe for sprint finishes and a supporting Astana Qazaqstan, hopes remain high.

105th milano torino 2024

After a training camp in Sierra Nevada, a high-altitude town in Spain, the Astana Qazaqstan Team is ready to take on the 2024 Tour de France, largely in support of delivering Cavendish to the front of the sprint stages. (Their nickname this year is ‘Team Cav.’) But the season so far has been somewhat lackluster for Cavendish compared to past years, with only two stage wins—at the Tour of Columbia and Tour de Hongrie —to his name thus far. He struggled with illness in the early season, though at least he missed out on some of the terrible crashes that have taken out many of the most talented racers in the peloton. Still, he wasn’t starting the season looking for big results ahead of the Tour.

His coach, Vasilis Anastopoulos, in an interview with Velo , said that Cavendish is back on form, and the team is feeling confident that the 35th win is possible. “If the next few weeks go as planned, everything is possible at the Tour de France. The confidence is there for Mark and the whole team,” Vasilis said.

In probably the funniest quote about a pro rider this season, Anastopoulos followed up by adding, “OK, Mark is old now, he’s 39.”

He recovered gracefully, adding that with age comes experience, and no one has as much of that as Cavendish, who’s been winning stages at the Tour since 2008.

Of the 21 stages in this year’s Tour, eight are flat and likely to end in sprints that Cavendish could contest. There are four hilly stages that could come down to a sprint, as well as three mountain stages that will finish on a flat. Four stages end at a mountain summit, and it will be nearly impossible for Cavendish to contend, and he’s not likely to secure a time trial win on either of those stages.

As to whether or not this will actually be his last shot at glory, it’s hard to say: Last year, he announced that he would retire at the end of the season, but after he crashed out of the Tour before he was able to secure a 35th win, he decided to come back for one more season. It’s hard to say if he’d do the same if this year’s race doesn’t go according to plan.

Right now, Cavendish and team are racing at the Tour de Suisse , and he’s finishing far down in the results. Still, races like this are often used as tune-ups for the Tour, and after their recent training camp, this race is likely serving to get their legs ready, and tactics dialed in ahead of the big show—so don’t count him out yet.

Molly writes about cycling, nutrition and training with an emphasis on bringing more women into sport. She's the author of nine books including the Shred Girls series and is the founder of Strong Girl Publishing . She co-hosts The Consummate Athlete Podcast and spends most of her free time biking and running on trails, occasionally joined by her mini-dachshund.

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Mark Collie Logo

Nashville, Tenn. (June 4, 2021) — Country music trailblazer, sought-after actor, and talented musician Mark Collie  has released his latest album,  Book of My Blues , available everywhere today via  BFD/Audium Nashville/Orchard  in association with  Harvest Entertainment, Creator Label Co.,  and  Collie Kuhl Music .

“Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to life,” says Collie. “It’s been great sharing some initial tracks and videos, but more than anything I’m excited for the fans to get the entire album experience today.”

Book of My Blues  was derived from the graphic novel  Rockabilly Hitman  that Collie wrote in collaboration with renowned film director  Jonathan Hensleigh  ( The Punisher, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Armageddon,  and the soon-to-be-released  Ice Road  starring  Liam Neeson ). The novel depicts the exploits of rockabilly singer Jesse Wayne Hardin and his adventures on the road, exploring emotional themes — love, lust, betrayal, addiction, recovery, damnation, and redemption.

Hensleigh co-wrote the track “ The Son of a Gun ” alongside Collie, played violin on the recording, and directed the album’s music videos. He will join Collie tonight on the Opry stage (playing violin) and this morning on  Coffee, Country, and Cody .

Of the twelve tracks, many have already been applauded. Respected country music historian/journalist,  Robert K. Oermann  of  MusicRow  hails “ The Son of a Gun ” as “dramatic and forceful.” While on “ Born Ready ,” he writes, “That Waylon/outlaw beat gets me every time. And it fits this renegade/rebel song perfectly. Welcome back, buddy. We’ve missed ya.”

Wide Open Country   premiered the upbeat “ A Little Every Day ,” describing the track as a “message to a weary world” and a “call for love and understanding.”

Co-written by Collie and longtime friend and renowned actor  Billy Bob Thornton , the official music video for title track “Book of My Blues” was featured by  American Songwriter , noting the concept album in its entirety as a “thorough Outlaw entrance,” applauding that Collie has “carefully crafted a legacy for those who follow him to adhere to.” Watch the video  here .

“Mark Collie is back!” raves Thornton. “Better than ever, if that’s possible. What a record he’s made for us, both musically and lyrically. Classic Collie. I’m proud to be just a small part of it. We started writing ‘Book of My Blues’ somewhere, and finished it somewhere else.”

Out today,  Book of My Blues  is available everywhere music is sold or streamed. To purchase or download the record, click  here . For more information on  Book of My Blues  and Mark Collie, visit  markcollie.com .

Mark Collie Greatest Hits - Album Art

Alive at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary

From Tragedy to Triumph – Enter Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a maximum security prison in Tennessee. Although it took 10 years for the album to be released, when it finally was, listeners were left with a critically acclaimed record full of tales of heartbreak, opportunities squandered, and eventually, redemption.

Available at:  Amazon.com  |  iTunes  |  Target  |  Best Buy

Alive At Brushy State Mountain - Album Art

Best Of Mark Collie

Collie has collected a variety of chart-topping hits, many featured here. Among the most popular and widely known are ‘Even the Man in the Moon Is Crying’, ‘Born to Love You’, ‘Hard Lovin’ Woman’, and others like ‘Calloused Hands’ and ‘Let Her Go,’ all found on this ICON collection.

Absolute Publicity

Mark Collie Announces New Album, ‘Book of My Blues’

May 11, 2021 | Press

mark collie tour 2023

Nashville, Tenn. (May 11, 2021) — Country music icon and trailblazer  Mark Collie announced today the release of his new album,  Book of My Blues,   set to release  Friday, June 4  via  BFD/Audium Nashville/Orchard  in association with  Harvest Entertainment, Creator Label Co.,  and  Collie Kuhl Music. The themes in  Book of My Blues  – love, lust, betrayal, addiction, recovery, damnation, redemption – are derived from the graphic novel  Rockabilly Hitman , a long-gestating collaboration between Collie and renowned film director  Jonathan Hensleigh  ( The Punisher, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Armageddon  and the soon-to-be-released  Ice Road  starring  Liam Neeson ). The novel depicts the exploits of rockabilly singer Jesse Wayne Hardin, who by night is an avenger of evil, as he travels the hard backroads from Muscle Shoals to Memphis, from the Mississippi Delta to Music City. “There are a lot of ways to describe the music, maybe Roadhouse Rock, Southern Gothic, Americana, Country, but at its core, it’s a reflection of me and many others who came before me,” explains Collie. The album features twelve original songs written or co-written by Collie, plus three rockabilly classics – “ Hey Boba Lou ” by  Ronnie Hawkins ,  Jacqueline Magill  and  Robbie Robertson  of  The Band  fame, “ Night Train to Memphis ” written by  Country Music Hall of Fame  member  Owen Bradley  with  Marvin Hughes  and  Beasley Smith , and “ Matchbox ” by  Carl Perkins . The album was co-produced by  Kenny Greenberg  (Allison Moore, Josh Turner, Toby Keith and the Mavericks) and  Chad Cromwell  (Joe Walsh, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Boz Scaggs). Collie’s list of collaborators reads as a “who’s who” of songwriter elite, including Collie’s long-time friend, actor/musician  Billy Bob Thornton  as well as  Tom Douglas, Gary Nicholson, John Scott Sherill,  Jonathan Hensleigh and co-producers Kenny Greenberg and Chad Cromwell. Instant grat tracks “ Born Ready ” and “ The Son of a Gun ” are available now.  MusicRow Magazine ’s  Robert K. Oermann  gave both tunes rave reviews.  The respected country music historian/journalist hailed “The Son of a Gun” as “dramatic and forceful.” While on “Born Ready,” Oermann writes, “That Waylon/outlaw beat gets me every time. And it fits this renegade/rebel song perfectly. Welcome back, buddy. We’ve missed ya.” Collie is set to release the album’s third single, “ Book of My Blues ,” on  May 14 . Pre-order  Book of My Blues here . Book of My Blues  Track Listing: 1. Book of My Blues (Mark Collie, Billy Bob Thornton) 2. Born Ready (Mark Collie, Kenny Greenberg, Gary Nicholson) 3. On the Wings of Your Love (Mark Collie) 4. Right This Wrong (Mark Collie, Kenny Greenberg) 5. Matchbox (Carl Perkins) 6. Holly Springs (Mark Collie, Kenny Greenberg, Chad Cromwell) 7. Unfinished Hurting (Mark Collie, Tom Douglas) 8. Queen of A Hungry Heart (Mark Collie, Kenny Greenberg, Chad Cromwell) 9. Sinking Sand (Mark Collie, Kenny Greenberg, Chad Cromwell) 10. Hey Boba Lou (Ronnie Hawkins, Jacqueline MaGill, Robbie Robertson) 11. Put the Gun Down (Mark Collie) 12. Walk the Floor, Kill the Lights, Slam the Door (Mark Collie, John Scott Sherill) 13. A Little Every Day (Mark Collie, Kenny Greenberg, Chad Cromwell) 14. The Son of a Gun (Mark Collie, Jonathan Hensleigh) 15. Night Train to Memphis (Owen Bradley, Marvin Hughes, Beasley Smith) About Mark Collie Mark Collie is one country music’s most enduring singer, songwriter, and actors. In addition to multiple Top 10 country hits, his songs have been recorded by some of country music’s most iconic recording artists including Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Martina McBride, George Jones and ALABAMA. His film and TV roles include  The Punisher  with Thomas Jane and John Travolta,  Fire Down Below  with Stephen Seagal,  Walker Texas Ranger  and the TV series  Nashville , to name a few. Collie has actively raised money and awareness for diabetes research. A recipient of the American Spirit Award, Collie is a strong supporter of our men and women in uniform having performed for troops around the world. He believes in second chances, alongside his wife Tammy, they are committed to working with incarcerated men and women teaching and helping them find their voice through music expression programs designed to help prepare them for successful re-entry. For more information about Mark Collie and  Book of My Blues , visit  markcollie.com . Follow Mark Collie on social media:  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  YouTube Learn about  Rockabilly Hitman , Mark Collie’s graphic novel collaboration with Justin Hensleigh, at  rockabillyhitman.com .  About Bob Frank Distribution (BFD)  Bob Frank Distribution (BFD) was formed in 2013 as a boutique independent music distributor with a global sub-distribution arrangement with the Orchard. BFD currently represents over 50 labels and artists with thousands of masters including earMUSIC, Charly, Absolute, Righteous Babe, BlueHat, DPTV, Astor Place Recordings, Big Deal Records, Once Upon A Time Music, Node Records, Cleveland International Records, Peak Records, Woodward Avenue Records, The Atlantic Screen Group (Filmtrax), REMT, PRA/Bad Dog, and UFO, as well as artist owned labels and catalogs including Crystal Gayle, Dale Watson, Dave Davies, Anthony Gomes, Mark Collie, Darryl Worley, Lee Roy Parnell, Trini Lopez and many others.   Visit more information, visit  bobfrankent.com .

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Mark cavendish keeps faith in 35th tour de france stage win: ‘he’s back on track … everything is possible’, cavendish's trainer and mentor says experience and bullish self-belief will be key after disaster spring: 'the confidence is there for mark, and the whole team.'.

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Mark Cavendish and Team Astana Qazaqstan continue to back their Tour de France project and the mission to write a new line of cycling history.

“Team Cav” has faith that wily experience and bullish self-belief will deliver the Manxman an Eddy Merckx-topping 35th stage win at the Tour de France this summer.

“If the next few weeks go as planned, everything is possible at the Tour de France,” Cavendish’s trainer Vasilis Anastopoulos told Velo .

“Things didn’t go well for Mark for quite a while. But we’re past that,” Anastopoulos said. “The confidence is there for Mark, and the whole team.”

Anastopoulos said on a call Wednesday the rockets are firing again after the heat temporarily went out of the “The Missile.”

The 39-year-old was derailed by a spring of sickness and knocked by a confidence-kicking failure to make the time cut this March at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Three months and a crucial stage win later, “Project 35″ lives on.

“I won’t give any chances or predictions. I can’t say if a stage win is 60 or 70 percent or whatever,” Anastopoulos said. “But I do know he’s back on track now and that he and the whole team is behind this Tour de France objective.

“If Mark arrives at the Tour healthy and in the condition we expect per the plan, everything is possible,” Anastopoulos told Velo . “Why not?”

Cavendish’s hunt for a history-making stage win will be the subplot of what could be his last Tour de France.

After being denied last year by a skipping chain during the sprint into Bordeaux and crashing out less than 24 hours later, Cavendish needs things to click his way just one time to steal all the headlines away from the GC “Big 4.”

QUOTE: @LeTour @markcavendish : “In the sprint I had a problem with my gear. I am very disappointed as the team and especially Cees Bol were pretty amazing. We’ll try again!” #TDF2023 #AstanaQazaqstanTeam pic.twitter.com/rqJyWqGUDr — Astana Qazaqstan Team (@AstanaQazTeam) July 7, 2023

Anastopoulos believes Cavendish’s extra decade of experience over top rivals Dylan Groenewegen, Mads Pedersen, and 2023 green jersey Jasper Philipsen could be the key to making that one moment of magic.

“You need to use all your experience for a race as hard as the Tour de France,” Anastopoulos said in a call to his home in Athens.

“It’s not only about power and about speed,” he said. “You need to make decisions in the right moments, to understand how to use energy during the stages, how not to be stressed by the whole race. Some of those learnings only come with time.

“OK, Mark is old now, he’s 39. But the experience he has, and that [leadout man] Mørkøv has, is second to no one. And that’s a huge advantage over these other guys,” Anastopoulos said. “None of the other Tour de France sprinters can match that.”

Cavendish won for the first time at the Tour de France all the way back in 2008. Some of his 2024 rivals might have been scooting around on kiddies’ trikes the moment the-then 23-year-old beat Óscar Freire and Erik Zabel into Châteauroux.

After a season with only two wins on the palmarès , Cavendish will need all the old man wisdom he can muster when the Tour rolls out two-and-a-half weeks from now.

2024: From horror show to Hongrie

mark collie tour 2023

Cavendish cut an unusually quiet figure this year.

An early season win in Colombia and a whole lot of accompanying hype dissolved into a spring of illness and a mojo-sapping experience in the mountains at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Cavendish abandoned the sprinter Super Bowl of the UAE Tour in February without a result and with a sickness he couldn’t stifle.

One month later, his Tirreno-Adriatico ended in disaster when he was timed out in a grueling stage over the rugged spine of the Apennines.

A DNF at Milano-Torino followed one week later.

“The spring was not good for us or for the team. It felt like a lot of good work from winter was undone,” Anastopoulos said. “For sure, all that impacted the morale.

“Mark needs confidence in his performance in order to really thrive.”

Mark Cavendish beat the naughty Groenewegen and won stage 2 of @Tour_de_Hongrie , his 2nd victory of the year after a world class leadout by Astana. Like I always said, never distegard Cav for a stage win in TDF. #TourdeHongrie @SenalDeportes pic.twitter.com/OnbHnQ7J5y — Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) May 9, 2024

Victory at the low-key Tour de Hongrie early last month helped Cavendish turn the page on a spring to forget.

“Mark’s good, he’s very happy, very motivated right now,” Anastopoulos said.

“That win in Hungary was very important,” he continued. “It was a big boost for Mark’s morale, the morale of the team, and the confidence the team has in him.

“It was a good win for him, that one. It felt significant.”

Astana Qazaqstan boss Alexander Vinokourov kept “Cav” on the books last winter with July front of mind.

Anastopoulos confirmed to Velo the Kazakh crew will be all-in on Cavendish at the Tour de France this summer.

Mørkøv, Cees Bol, and Davide Ballerini will be the core of a “Tour 8″ focused on the five sprints available in a mountain-packed race. Cavendish’s former wingman Mark Renshaw will be directing from the team car.

Alexey Lutsenko will be the odd-climber-out in a strapping Astana Qazaqstan selection.

“We had a really good training camp with all the guys last month in Sierra Nevada. All the leadout was there, and things are working well with them,” Anastopoulos said.

“The mood is good. Mark’s going well, and when he sees the other guys doing good, that boosts him further.”

Confidence is key for Cav: ‘Mark has a lot of belief in this project’

Mark Cavendish before the start of stage 19 of the 2021 Tour de France.

Anastopoulos helped Cavendish defy the doubters during their shared time at Deceuninck Quick-Step when the sprinter won four stages and the green jersey at the 2021 Tour de France.

The Greek trainer told Velo that Cavendish’s power files are currently close to those of his Merckx-equaling run three years ago.

A week-long camp close to Athens in the week before the Tour will put the finishing touches on the Missile’s second burn and draw the watts closer to his four-win summer.

“We don’t look at the other guys like Philipsen or whoever, or think about their level. But I’m convinced that if Mark performs at the level that we’re used to and we expect, then he has a very good chance at the Tour,” Anastopoulos said.

A great athlete made a monumental comeback at this year’s @LeTour and rewrote the history books of cycling Proud and honored to be a part of it! Cav, you made it mate! You are the sprinting GOAT! pic.twitter.com/Aj1UKFxmOn — Vasilis Anastopoulos (@vanasto) July 19, 2021

Anastopoulos and Cavendish forged a close relationship during their time at Soudal Quick-Step.

The Greek became part-coach-part-counsellor in a role that made his hire by Astana Qazaqstan a non-negotiable.

Anastopoulos has seen Cavendish at his highest and his lowest.

Right now, the trainer-turned-mentor is convinced things are looking upward.

“Mark has a lot of belief in this project, and he can see the whole team has a lot of belief in it,” Anastopoulos told Velo . “That’s one of the most important things. Confidence can mean a lot for Mark. For his mind and his sprints.”

Suffering in Suisse for a slice of Tour de France history

mark collie tour 2023

Cavendish races one last time before the Tour de France this week at the Tour de Suisse in what is a cruel choice for a fast-finisher. Like last week’s Critérium du Dauphiné, the Swiss tour is laden with Alps and short of sprint finals.

Meanwhile, the alphas of the Tour de France sprinter pack are sharpening their fangs at the Baloise Tour, starting Wenesday.

Philipsen and Jakobsen are joined in Belgium by Tim Merlier and Olav Kooij for what should be the ultimate pre-Tour tester of sprinter prowess.

Cavendish and Anastopoulos thought different. The Tour de Suisse will serve Cavendish a lesson in suffering and dissolve any memories of his humiliation in the mountains this March.

“To do sprints in modern cycling, you need to survive the climbs,” Anastopoulos said.

“This year’s Tour de France in partciular is extremely, extremely difficult. There are so many climbs, even in the first two stages,” he said. “Mark needs to be ready for that suffering.

“And for Mark, the target isn’t only for the one stage, but to finish the whole Tour. He needs climbing kilometers in his legs to do that.”

A 35th stage win this summer at the Tour de France will make all the uphill worth it.

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"Arise, Sir Cav": Mark Cavendish awarded knighthood in King's birthday honours while Chris Boardman receives CBE

"Arise, Sir Cav": Mark Cavendish awarded knighthood in King's birthday honours while Chris Boardman receives CBE

The King's birthday honours list for 2024 has recognised the achievements of Mark Cavendish, the Manx sprinter awarded a knighthood for his unprecedented achievements as road cycling's greatest ever sprinter. There was also an upgrade from MBE to CBE for Chris Boardman, who was this time recognised specifically for his work as commissioner of Active Travel England. 

Cavendish, 39, joins the likes of likes of Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy as a cycling 'Sir' two weeks before he will line up at the Tour de France in search of his 35th Tour de France stage win, 16 years after he won his first. If he does secure a stage at this year's Tour, Cavendish would pass Eddy Merckx as the most prolific Tour de France stage winner of all time. 

        View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by British Cycling (@britishcycling)

Cavendish's career probably needs no introduction for most of you just catching wind of this news, but it's safe to say it has been glittering. Turning professional with Team Sparkasse in 2005 after winning world championship gold on the track in the madison that year, Cavendish's major success on the road began when he joined T-Mobile Team.

In 2008, he won two stages at the Giro d'Italia and four stages at the Tour de France, and stage victories at the Tour followed every year right through until 2013: six stages in 2009, five in 2010, five in 2011, three in 2012 and two in 2013. Cavendish also won the world championship road race and the Tour de France points classification in 2011. 

> Mark Cavendish’s top 10 greatest Tour de France stage wins

Cavendish was less prolific by his standards in the mid-2010s with a number of crashes and injuries contributing to quieter years, but 2016 saw a return to form as he bagged four stages at that year's Tour. Leaving early to head to the Olympic games, Cav got his first Olympic medal with a silver in the omnium. 

MArk Cavendish after equalling Eddy Merckx's record - picture credit A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

In 2018, Cavendish was forced to take an indefinite break from cycling due to his battle with Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause chronic fatigue. This led to a  "dark" struggle with depression , and a marked drop in his cycling performance. 

By 2021, amidst calls for him to retire and the man himself revealing he was ready to quit , Cavendish was offered a one-year contract by former team Deceuninck-QuickStep, and earned a surprise call-up to the Tour de France that year after teammate Sam Bennett was ruled out due to injury. It turned out to be written in the stars, as Cavendish bagged four stage victories and the green jersey to complete one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.

Cavendish announced his retirement in 2023, but reversed the decision in October after signing a one-year contract extension with Astana Qazaqstan to target a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win. 

Cavendish's entry on the honour's list notes that he is also recognised for his charity work. A patron for Help For Heroes for over a decade, the charity notes that Cavendish and his wife Peta have "thrown themselves into many fundraising events and awareness raising activities" over the years. In fact, Cavendish met his wife while she was covering a veteran's event in the USA and he was on a training camp nearby. 

Cavendish's first cycling coach, 74-year-old Dot Tilbury, spoke of her pride after hearing the news that her most successful protegee had been knighted: 

“When I was coaching Mark as a boy, I had no doubt that he would go on to achieve amazing things. He was very passionate and driven – he would study courses to work out the best way around and research the latest gadgets to help him succeed.

“He comes back to the Island regularly and goes cycling with his children. It always causes lots of excitement whenever they are over.

"Everyone in the Isle of Man, from young children to grannies, is so very proud of what he’s achieved. He has inspired many children to think that you don’t have to come from a big city to go after what you want in life." 

A final fact about Cavendish's knighthood: he's only the second man from the Isle of Man to be knighted this century, the other being the late Sir Norman Wisdom back in 2000. 

Chris Boardman (Active Travel England)

As well as Cavendish bagging a knighthood, there was also a CBE for Chris Boardman in recognition of his work as a tireless active travel campaigner, which led to his current post as commissioner of Active Travel England. 

Already awarded an MBE way back in 1992 for his cycling achievements, 55-year-old Boardman has become more prominent in recent years for his cycling and walking advocacy, inspired to act after feeling unable to make a 500-metre journey by bike with his daughter because the traffic conditions were unsafe. 

Boardman has long since campaigned for more segregated cycling infrastructure in the UK, pointing to the Netherlands' extensive cycling network as a prime example, and was instrumental in designing Manchester's Bee Network in his previous role as Greater Manchester's cycling and walking commissioner. He believes this, and normalising utility cycling, is key to making the nation healthier and improving road safety.

Conversely, Boardman has often downplayed the importance of protective equipment when it comes to cycling, telling road.cc in 2014 that helmets are "not even in the top 10 of things you need to do to keep cycling safe or more widely, save the most lives." 

In 2016, Boardman's mother Carol was killed by a driver while cycling. He has spoken about the catastrophic effects of dangerous driving and lenient sentencing since her killer was eventually handed 30-week prison sentence and 18-month driving ban in 2018: “I would like to see more driving bans", said Boardman after the sentencing. 

“Driving is a privilege, so I don’t want those people who commit crime – and that’s what this is – become a burden on society. I’d just like them not to be able to do that to anybody else ever again.”

> "No family should go through what mine did”: Chris Boardman speaks about losing his mum at the hands of killer driver for the first time

After receiving the news of his CBE, Boardman was quoted in the Wirral Globe as saying: "I’m delighted to receive this honour for services to active travel.

“I started this journey many years ago when my daughter, Agatha, wanted to ride to the park. Even though it was just 500 metres away I felt I had to say no, because I wasn’t sure I could keep her safe. That felt wrong, so I decided to do something about it.

“Nearly 20 years on, the fight has never been more relevant, so it’s been an easy cause to champion, especially as I know most parents would love transport independence for their kids too. And if they have it, we all do.”

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mark collie tour 2023

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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Sorry, but anyone who accepts such an honour immediately drops down slightly in my estimation. For example, Alan Bates fought the establishment that screwed him for decades. Now he's getting a gong, and will kneel in front of a billionaire to be tapped on the shoulders with a sword of state. The same state that jailed his fellow postmasters, because they were little people, and if the great and the good said they had stolen, then they must be guilty. And for what? For the same thing that a Saudi tycoon paid Charles's people cash for - sorry, "donated" to his charity - or that a 30-year-old aide got for bringing Boris Johnson cups of coffee.

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uberdemocrat wrote: And for what? For the same thing that a Saudi tycoon paid Charles's people cash for - sorry, "donated" to his charity - or that a 30-year-old aide got for bringing Boris Johnson cups of coffee.

That's a disgraceful comment and an appalling slur on our great former prime minister, implying that he would hand out peerages for bringing him cups of coffee. He gave her a peerage because she's one of his secret love children, or possibly because he'd been playing Emperor and the slave girl behind Carrie's back with her, although hopefully not both.

Dropping down slightly in your estimation will no doubt detract enormously from his satisfaction. Also, you forgot to mention "the blob" and "metropolitan elites".

I am so thrilled for Cav, a huge honour for the greatest sprinter and a thoroughly nice guy. Congrats also to Chris Boardman and his essential work for Active Travel, a well deserved CBE.

Also spotted, a BEM for Ernest Feargrieve, lead race mechanic for GB Cycling Team. 

Thoroughly nice guy?

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Well he is when he's winning.

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Here are 8 ways to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday in Springfield

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Juneteenth is Wednesday, June 19. The national holiday honors the day all enslaved people learned of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Through the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect Jan. 1, 1863, not everyone in the Confederate territory was immediately set free. It was not until June 19, 1865 when 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas and announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved people were free by executive decree, according to the National Museum of African American History & Culture . This day became known as Juneteenth. It became an official national holiday in 2021 under President Joe Biden.

For the second year in a row, the NAACP of Springfield and Community Partnership of the Ozarks are hosting a three-day festival to celebrate Juneteenth. The festival kicks off on Friday with the Turnt Up Tour at the Gillioz Theatre. Outside of the festival, there are several other Juneteenth activities planned around Springfield next week.

Turnt Up Tour

When: Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m.

Where: Gillioz Theatre at 325 Park Central East

Springfield's three-day Juneteenth festival kicks off with the Turnt Up Tour at the Gillioz Theatre. The concert will feature Twista, Ying Yang Twins and Paul Wall. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available on the Gillioz Theatre website , ranging between $25-30.

Carl Mitchell, more commonly known by his stage name Twista, is an American rapper who specializes in the chopping style, a subgenre of hip-hop featuring fast-paced rhyming and rapping. Twista's top singles include "Overnight Celebrity," "Adrenaline Rush" and "Slow Jamz."

The Ying Yang Twins, a rap group comprised of Kaine and D-Roc, are most popularly known for their collaboration with Lil Jon on the hit single, "Get Low." Independently, the Twins — who are not actually biological twins — have released popular singles like "Salt Shaker," "Wait" and "Say I Yi Yi."

Paul Slayton, who performs under the stage name Paul Wall, is an American rapper and DJ. His most popular singles include "Break Em' Off," "Sitting Sidewayz" and "Swangin in the Rain."

Juneteenth Community Celebration

When: Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Springfield Expo Center at 635 E. St. Louis St.

The city-wide Juneteenth Community Celebration, hosted by Community Partnership of the Ozarks and the NAACP of Springfield, will feature an array of family-friendly activities, resources, speakers and live music. Grammy Award nominee Nappy Roots will close out the celebration.

More: Juneteenth, Ozarks Pridefest and 20+ other things to do around Springfield this June

The Milly Project Film Screening and Q&A

When: Saturday, June 15 at 6 p.m.

Where: Springfield Art Museum at 1111 E. Brookside Drive

The Milly Project is hosting a film screening and Q&A with its performers following the Juneteenth Community Celebration on Saturday. The Milly Project tells the story of an enslaved Black woman, Milly Sawyers, in Springfield who won her freedom around the year 1835. This would have been right after the creation of the Greene County Court and before the Supreme Court's decision on Dred Scott.

A yellow, handwritten court manuscript telling Sawyers' story remained shelved for years until archivist Connie Forbis Yen and former News-Leader reporter Giacomo Bologna shared it with the community in 2018 .

More: What was Springfield like when Milly Sawyers lived here? Experts, records give context

Silver Springs Park Programs and Projects Tour

When: Sunday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Timmons Hall at 1055 E. Webster St.

In collaboration with the city-wide festival, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board is hosting a programs and projects tour at Silver Springs Park on Sunday. The tour will feature the park's new pavilion and amphitheater, exhibitions on the park's history, container gardening and digital story mapping. The digital program will share stories, map locations and video clips of the park's history. Tours are free and popcorn will be served as a refreshment.

Juneteenth Gospel Choir Celebration

When: Sunday, June 16 at 4 p.m.

Where: Washington Avenue Baptist Church at 1722 N. National Ave.

A gospel choir concert is at Washington Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday evening.

Celebrations of Africa

When: June 16, 19, 20, 22 and 29

Where: Pan African Historical Museum at 1500 Main St.

The Kingdom Woman Finishing School , a "biblically-inspired, finishing school of self-mastery and divinity" is hosting numerous programs honoring African culture throughout the month of June at the Pan African Historical Museum:

  • Sunday, June 16 at 4 p.m.: Symbols of Royalty in Africa: The African Headdress Royal Families
  • Wednesday, June 19 at 6 p.m.: Afro Beats Dance Class
  • Wednesday, June 19 at 6 p.m.: Haitian Chakacha (Bellydance): African Femininity Dance Class
  • Thursday, June 20 at 6 p.m.: Juneteenth Generational Wealth Bootcamp
  • Saturday, June 22 at 1 p.m.: Best Painting Workshop: Celebrations of Africa
  • Saturday, June 29 at 1 p.m.: A History of African Inventors and Innovators within the African Diaspora

Tickets for each event are available for purchase on Eventbrite .

Freedom Fest

When: Wednesday, June 19 at noon

Where: Founders Park at 330 E. Water St.

Springfield's annual Juneteenth Freedom Fest, held on the holiday itself, will feature vendors, live music, free giveaways and food. Several community leaders will be speaking throughout the day-long festival, too.

Multicultural Freedom Unity Celebration

When: Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Jordan Valley Park at 811 E. Trafficway St.

United Community Change, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting marginalized individuals to the land, their homes and their community, is hosting a freedom unity celebration in conjunction with the Juneteenth Community Celebration. The celebration will feature various local vendors

Greta Cross is the trending topics reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. She has more than five years of journalism experience covering everything from Ozarks history to Springfield’s LGBTQIA+ community. Follow her on X and Instagram @gretacrossphoto. Story idea? Email her at [email protected] .

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  7. Mark Collie

    Mark Collie is a singer, writer, artist, actor, filmmaker, entertainer, poet… The titles all apply, but none alone defines him. Country music trailblazer and in-demand actor Mark Collie is hitting the road again in support of his latest album, Book Of My Blues, and previewing songs from his upcoming project with long-time friend and co-creator Billy Bob Thornton.

  8. Mark Collie Concert Tickets and Tour Dates

    Mark Collie tickets for the upcoming concert tour are on sale at StubHub. Buy and sell your Mark Collie concert tickets today. Tickets are 100% guaranteed by FanProtect. StubHub is the world's top destination for ticket buyers and resellers. Prices may be higher or lower than face value.

  9. Mark Collie

    George Mark Collie (born January 18, 1956) is an American country music singer, songwriter, musician, actor, record producer, and fundraiser for Type 1 diabetes study. He has won awards and acclaim for his music, his acting, and his philanthropy. His singing career has included five major-label albums: four for MCA Nashville and one for Giant ...

  10. Mark Cavendish knighted in King's Birthday Honours ahead of final Tour

    Cycling's best-ever sprinter Mark Cavendish has been knighted and will take aim at a record 35th Tour de France stage win later this year as Sir Mark Cavendish. Cavendish received the knighthood ...

  11. Mark Cavendish knighted ahead of Tour de France

    Chris Boardman awarded CBE at same ceremony. Photo by: Sirotti. Terry McKall June 15, 2024. Mark Cavendish is headed into this year's Tour de France aiming to surpass Eddy Merckx record of 34 ...

  12. Mark Cavendish's Final Tour de France Might Be His Most ...

    The 39-year-old sprinter, set to retire after this season, faces a tough battle. With eight flat stages ripe for sprint finishes and a supporting Astana Qazaqstan, hopes remain high.

  13. Music

    Nashville, Tenn. (June 4, 2021) — Country music trailblazer, sought-after actor, and talented musician Mark Collie has released his latest album, Book of My Blues, available everywhere today via BFD/Audium Nashville/Orchard in association with Harvest Entertainment, Creator Label Co., and Collie Kuhl Music. "Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to life," says Collie. "It ...

  14. Mark Collie Announces New Album, 'Book of My Blues'

    Nashville, Tenn. (May 11, 2021) — Country music icon and trailblazer Mark Collieannounced today the release of his new album, Book of My Blues, set to release Friday, June 4 via BFD/Audium Nashville/Orchard in association with Harvest Entertainment, Creator Label Co., and Collie Kuhl Music. The themes in Book of My Blues - love, lust, betrayal, addiction, recovery, damnation, redemption ...

  15. Mark Cavendish Keeps Faith in Tour de France Quest

    Mark Cavendish and Team Astana Qazaqstan continue to back their Tour de France project and the mission to write a new line of cycling history. "Team Cav" has faith that wily experience and bullish self-belief will deliver the Manxman an Eddy Merckx-topping 35th stage win at the Tour de France this summer. "If the next few weeks go as ...

  16. Mark Collie

    The Official YouTube Channel of Mark Collie

  17. "Arise, Sir Cav": Mark Cavendish awarded knighthood in King's birthday

    39-year-old Cavendish, winner of a record-equalling 34 Tour de France stages, has been recognised for his cycling achievements and charity work, while Boardman's CBE was awarded for his services to active travel ... Mark Cavendish at Tour de France 2023 (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com) "Arise, Sir Cav": Mark Cavendish awarded knighthood in King's ...

  18. Mark Cavendish knighted after cancelling retirement to beat Tour de

    Mark Cavendish, now riding for Team Astana Kazakhstan, said he was 'humbled' by the news of his knighthood Credit: AFP/Luca Bettini Mark Cavendish will head to the Tour de France later this month ...

  19. 8 Juneteenth holiday events happening in Springfield

    Where: Gillioz Theatre at 325 Park Central East. Springfield's three-day Juneteenth festival kicks off with the Turnt Up Tour at the Gillioz Theatre. The concert will feature Twista, Ying Yang ...

  20. Mark Collie Tour Dates & Concert Tickets

    Currently there haven't been any upcoming Mark Collie concerts or tours revealed for cities in North America. Sign up for our Concert Tracker to get informed when Mark Collie performances have been released to the calendar. For announcements pertaining to Mark Collie shows, visit us on Twitter @ConcertFix.In the meantime, take a look at other Country / Folk performances coming up by The Ain't ...

  21. Moscow Metro Tour

    View the most beautiful of Moscow's Soviet-era metro stations on this walking tour. With an expert guide, visit five of the Russian capital's celebrated stations built during the Soviet period as you learn how the lavish, subway Moscow architecture was designed to express a bright, bold new Soviet future. Admire the extravagant décor, chandeliers and sculptures at the stations, including ...

  22. Metro Tour 2023

    The Moscow Metro is famous for its elaborate decorations and beautiful artworks. On this tour of the underground transportation system you'll learn about Russian culture, art, history, technology and more, all in one convenient trip. Your local guide will be able to point out details that you might miss if you were traveling by yourself. This is a fun way to travel around Moscow while ...

  23. Moscow Metro Daily Tour: Small Group 2023

    Moscow has some of the most well-decorated metro stations in the world but visitors don't always know which are the best to see. This guided tour takes you to the city's most opulent stations, decorated in styles ranging from neoclassicism to art deco and featuring chandeliers and frescoes, and also provides a history of (and guidance on how to use) the Moscow metro system.

  24. Moscow Metro Daily Tour: Small Group 2023

    Moscow has some of the most well-decorated metro stations in the world but visitors don't always know which are the best to see. This guided tour takes you to the city's most opulent stations, decorated in styles ranging from neoclassicism to art deco and featuring chandeliers and frescoes, and also provides a history of (and guidance on how to use) the Moscow metro system.