Top Manx cyclists join together to make training films

Former British criterium champion Rob Holden says there is something unique about the Manx approach

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World road race champion Mark Cavendish has joined other leading Manx cyclists to produce a series of training films in the island.

Mr Cavendish came together with professional riders such as Peter Kennaugh, Jonny Bellis, Mark Christian, Chris Whorral and Chris Nicholson, and the wider Manx cycling community, to take part.

Former British criterium champion Rob Holden, who leads several of the training sessions featured in the films, said there was something unique about the Manx approach to cycling.

"The Isle of Man has produced at least one cyclist of international calibre every decade going back to Stuart Slack in the 1950s and the current crop are exceptional," he said.

"For an island with a population the size of Birkenhead, it's an incredible success story."

Mr Holden said there was no one reason for the success of Manx cyclists over the years.

'Success breeds success'

"The roads over here are difficult to ride and to continue to ride a bike consistently does develop what we call your engine," he said. "You do need to be tough as we're not blessed with a Mediterranean climate.

"Over the years, the Isle of Man has had a lot of good bike riders and the knock-on effect of that is success breeds success. We also have a wealth of knowledge and I think that when people start to ride bikes they look for that knowledge."

Mark Cavendish - 3LC Mark Cavendish became the men's world road race champion in 2011

The training films, called Training with the Manx, were filmed and produced in the island by Three Legs Cycling.

Each of the five films focuses on a different aspect of the sport.

With many of the island's leading cyclists living all over Europe, coach Peter Kennaugh (senior) said getting them all in one place was a challenge.

"We picked a window when we thought the stars would all be home and everyone turned up, which was fantastic," said Mr Kennaugh.

"When all the pros are back on the island they still train with the local riders. There are no superstars here, just good pals and it was great to get everyone together for the project.

"When Mark [Cavendish] comes back he is always giving tips to all the up-and-coming youngsters and it makes them into better riders. We were delighted he was involved."

The films were shot using more than 20 cameras to capture all aspects of training.

Each film will aim to pass on tips and advice in different aspects of cycling, including sprinting, climbing and mountain biking.

Mr Kennaugh added: "The project has brought the entire cycling community together on the island and as well as the technical side we have tried to capture the humour and the banter.

"We do have the big names but the whole cycling community, of all ages, were invited to take part because it's a community thing and we all got something out of this project."

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