Britain’s Mark Cavendish has found a way to cheer himself and a young fan up after being left out of this year’s Tour de France by his team.
The 34-year-old has won 30 Tour stages, four fewer than Eddy Merckx’s record, and said he was “heartbroken” by the omission for the first time since 2007 – as was five-year-old super fan Evan Llewellyn.
The youngster’s mother Louise had tweeted Team Dimension Data rider Cavendish with a picture of the distraught youngster, saying: “It’s OK Cav because I still want to ride my bike with you.”
And the 2011 world road race champion made Evan’s dream come true as he joined him for a ride near his home in Nottinghamshire, with Louise saying the experience will “last a lifetime”.
“Mark said it broke his heart to see Evan so upset,” added Louise. “They rode round our village chatting away. Evan took Mark past his school and told him all about how he rides his bike!
“It was lovely to see them both smiling and enjoying their ride.”
After their time together, Cavendish tweeted: “It was an absolute pleasure Evan. Couldn’t bear to to see you sad. I knew a bike ride would cheer us both up.”
Tour de France organisers have invited Evan and his family to be guests at an official Tour de France fan park in the Chilterns on Sunday, 14 July.
The Tour got under way on Saturday with the Grand Depart from Brussels, and the three-week race finishes in Paris on Sunday, 28 July.