If Mark Cavendish did not exist, what mind could invent him? In a world of homogenized sportspeople, he is a welcome one-off. Volatile, demanding, unwilling to hide his emotions, desperate to establish himself as one of cycling's all‑time greats, disinclined to suffer fools but keen to exploit every opportunity to promote a sport he loves for itself and its history as much as for what it has brought him. And, right now, our very best. This collection of the Guardian's finest sports writing charts the rise of the phenomenon that is Cav, from his early professional appearances to 2011's Green Jersey triumph.