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Check out Mark Cavendish's World Cup inspired cycling shoes

Joe Robinson
6 Jul 2018

The Manx Missile heads to the Tour de France in search of Merckx's stage win record but cannot hide his football World Cup fever

The faint belief that England could potentially win the football World Cup has gripped much of the nation and has even found itself spilling onto the feet of the Tour de France peloton, which is due to roll out of the Vendee Region on Saturday morning. 

One of the race's most successful riders of all time and proud Manxman Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) unveiled the special edition Nike cycling shoes he will wear for the Tour, based on the iconic Mercurial boots worn by Brazilian Ronaldo at the 1998 Fifa World Cup in France.

Posted to his Instagram page, Cavendish's fresh new laced shoes are an exact replica of the now-iconic blue, silver and gold boots worn by Ronaldo 20 years ago, even down to the 'M 1998' lining the heel.

Taking inspiration from modern football boot design, these new shoes also contain a stretchy cotton cuff that sits on the heel, although this could prove a violation of the UCI regulation that states, 'No part of the shoe should extend above ankle height.'

While Cavendish will replicate the boots of Ronaldo he will be hoping not to replicate the Brazilian's performance in that World Cup.

Despite getting to a second consecutive final, Ronaldo's Brazil found themselves comprehensively beaten by hosts France 3-0 in the final.

One rider that will be hoping to reproduce the results of 1998 is Chris Froome (Team Sky). Having already taken the Giro d'Italia in May, the four time Tour champion will be hoping to add yellow jersey number five to his collection with a historic Giro-Tour double.

The last time that this Grand Tour double was achieved was - yep, you've guessed it - in 1998 when the late Italian Marco Pantani rode to a maiden pink and yellow jersey.

Like this year, the 1998 Tour was forced back a week from its traditional slot to accommodate for the ongoing World Cup, an omen that Froome will be looking to use to in his favour.

As for Cavendish, he will be hoping to ride these flash new shoes to their first victory, and a potential second yellow jersey, on Saturday afternoon as the peloton tackles the flat 201km stage from Noirmoutier-en-I'Ile to Fotenay-le-Comte