‘I hope he doesn’t think I’m some fanatic weirdo’: Man fulfils promise to get Mark Cavendish tattoo if he won another race – Cycling Weekly

Posted in Tattooing on Oct 20, 2021

Even after the tears of Gent-Wevelgem when Mark Cavendish had re-signed for Deceuninck - Quick-Step to prolong his professional cycling career, the idea of the Manxman actually winning another bike race still felt like a far-fetched proposition despite the magic touch of the Belgian team.

But how sure were you that the best of Cavendish had been and gone? Enough to bet you'd get a tattoo of him if he did cross the line first one more time?

Paul James wasn't interested in wagers, but was so inspired by the prospect of a Cavendish comeback that he said if the sprinter managed to win another bike race he would get a tattoo to honour the achievement.

"When he re-signed with Deceuninck - Quick-Step I was like 'if Cav wins another race this year Ill get a tattoo of him' to a mate or two," James tells Cycling Weekly. "I also said it to a popular Twitter person within cycling so it was then all over social media."

But did James ever think he would actually have to follow through with his promise?

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"I dont know actually," he admits. "Going off the previous few years' results...not very likely, but Im a huge fan of his and have always been positive towards him and most things in life so I hoped hed win even if it meant getting the tattoo."

(Image credit: Paul James)

In March, at Grote prijs Jean-Pierre Monser, Cavendish finished second. Further podiums followed at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. Then, the Tour of Turkey.

"I was at work," James recalls. "Im a personal trainer and I was working in the main gym and had the Tour of Turkey on my phone under the desk.

"When Cav won his first stage I was literally running around the gym screaming liked he'd just scored the winner in a World Cup final. When he won his first Tour stage I had Covid and was trying to do the same screaming but had no voice to do it with."

Still, words are just words, no matter how excited he was to see Cavendish back to winning ways. Did he ever think about not committing the sprinter to ink?

"For a day or two yeah," James admits of questioning whether he actually wanted to get the tattoo. "Because its a big commitment to getting someone tattooed on you, the price also put me off a bit. But then Im a man of my word and with what Cav has been through and the way he inspired me I thought what the hell, so I went through with it."

James' tattoo artist, who also lives in Jersey, found a few pictures of Cavendish on the internet and they selected which one to use, James explaining what the green jersey represents and also teaching more about the sport to the uninitiated artist of all things cycling.

"Its been really positive actually," James says of the response to the new look of his left leg. "Ive had people saying the fantastic the artwork is and how incredible it looks."

Thankfully, it's even gone down well with his other half.

"My girlfriend loves it and shes not massively into tattoos and she really likes it, she also likes my reason behind getting it, with Cav inspiring me and his story. So thats at least a bonus.

"Im absolutely over the moon with it, I think it looks incredible, itll look even better once its fully healed. I dont know if Cav has seen it yet. If he has, I hope he likes it and doesnt think Im some fanatic weirdo."

See the article here:
'I hope he doesn't think I'm some fanatic weirdo': Man fulfils promise to get Mark Cavendish tattoo if he won another race - Cycling Weekly

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