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Mark Cavendish and his family violently robbed and assaulted by four armed men

The intruders forced their way into the rider's house

Photo by: Essex Police

While recovering from his horrific crash at the Ghent Six-day in Essex, former world champion Mark Cavendish, his wife Peta and their children were violently robbed on Nov. 27.

Although there’s been a rash of notable bike thefts of late like the Italian pursuit team at the world track championships, Geraint Thomas’s Pinarello or Tejay van Garderen’s Tdf ride, this is is clearly a much more serious crime.

The Manx Missile said that although two watches of great sentiment were stolen, the robbery has left him and his family very shaken, saying that “far, far worse was the sense of security, safety and privacy that his family is entitled to in their own.”

Are the thieves who stole the Italian track bikes the dumbest criminals ever?

The Essex police have since launched an investigation, saying “We are investigating an aggravated burglary which took place at the home of Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish. Four armed men entered the home, and the group then assaulted Mr Cavendish and threatened his wife.”

The police also said that “This was undoubtedly a targeted incident at the home of a celebrated British Olympian, who at the time was recovering from significant injuries resulting from a crash whilst competing, which was well publicized. Our investigation is moving along at pace and we are following a number of lines of inquiry as we seek to catch those responsible.”

Mark Cavendish still in hospital

“Mr. Cavendish and his wife were assaulted and threatened in their own home, in the presence of their young children, who witnessed these events. Thankfully, they are recovering, but the traumatic effect will be long standing. Today, we are releasing images of the people captured on CCTV fleeing the scene and we would urge anyone who recognizes them to get in contact with us immediately. We are also releasing images of the suitcase and two watches which were stolen during the incident,” the Essex Police said, “It is likely the people who stole these items are attempting to offload them for sizeable sums of money and I would urge anyone who is being offered these items to please get in touch with us, they are stolen property.”

The Green Jersey winner released an additional statement Wednesday. “As I’m sure you will understand, this incident has left our family extremely distressed, not just myself and Peta but our children as well, who feared for their lives and are now struggling with the after-effects,” Cavendish said. “No one should have to experience the sort of violence and threats made against us, let alone this happening in a family home, a place where everyone should feel safe. The items taken are simply material goods and our priority at the moment is to make sure we all recover from the incident as a family, and we know this is likely to take some time.”

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Essex Police for a really quick response and the professionalism and the focus they are clearly putting into the investigation,” he concluded.