• Mark Cavendish reveals he battled 'quite hard' with depression (Getty)Source: Getty
Super star cyclist Mark Cavendish reveals he has struggled 'quite hard' with depression the last couple of years.
Cycling Central

6 Apr 2020 - 4:55 PM  UPDATED 6 Apr 2020 - 5:40 PM

In an interview with The Times, the Manx Missile revealed his 'dark' battle began around the time he was sitting on the sidelines recovering from Epstein-Barr virus while riding for Dimension Data (now NTT Pro Cycling). 

"It’s not just been my physical health which has been dealt a blow over the last couple of years," he said. 

"I’ve battled quite hard with depression during this time. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in August 2018."

“I didn’t take any medication. Like, this isn’t the time or place — we’ll do a thing on it at some point — but I received help.

"I was dark. And I’m on the other side, thank you. Well, as much as I can be. I think I’ve come out of that. And it’s nice to have come out of that. And to look for the positives.”

The 34-year-old also revealed he is relishing time with his family while in coronavirus lockdown as he would normally be at races plus he refuses to get frustrated after tussling head-on with depression. 

“The unknown of when you’re going to be back racing, I had that for two years.

"It could have been easy for me to go through my whole career and only see the kids once they’re teenagers. So to be able to absorb this . . . to be able to do what mums and dads do, it keeps me happy, it keeps me super motivated, and it keeps me sane I guess."

But he is not a huge fan of racing on virtual cycling platforms which he says cramp his style.  

“I’m f***ed if I go on e-Racing because I race on tactics,” he said. 

The interview also covered his move to Bahrain-McLaren where he has reunited with former British Cycling coach Rod Ellingworth.

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“His form is not like 2016 but he’s getting there,” Ellingworth said. “That season was phenomenal. If that was 10 out of 10, he’s somewhere like seven at the minute.

"He came to us one or two out of ten, that’s physical, mental and the passion for it. So he’s progressing really well but he just wants to race.” 

Cavendish also hinted at disappointment on his non selection for the Tokyo Olympic Games when they were originally scheduled for late July 2020.

“With things changing at British Cycling, the leadership haven’t seen me race, haven’t seen me perform at a big competition. They don’t understand how I work. But that’s enough on that. Let’s keep the positive.” 

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