Do riders care what you think? What they really make of social media criticism

Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the start of last year, Mark Cavendish gave an upfront interview to Het Nieuwsblad in which he stated that: "All that shit in your magazines or on Twitter, it doesn't hurt me."

For cycling publications, Cavendish represents a goldmine of quotes and headline material but this one, almost throw-away line, leads to two important questions – do riders care what the outside world really think of them, and secondly, does public opinion affect them?

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.