Mark Cavendish burglary horror: Armed gang assaulted Olympic cyclist

Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish has been beaten up and robbed at his home as he recovered from a horror crash that left him in intensive care.

The athlete, 36, and his model wife Peta Todd were set upon by four armed thugs in a planned raid at his house in the Ongar area of Essex.

Their children watched in terror as their parents were attacked and threatened and were left ‘incredibly shaken’ by the incident.

None of the family sustained serious injuries but the burglars made off with a Louis Vuitton suitcase and two high-value watches.

The attack came just six days after Cavendish suffering two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in a horrific crash in Belgium.

Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish has been beaten up and robbed at his home as he recovered from a horror crash that left him in intensive care 

Mark Cavendish and Peta Cavendish are pictured at The Millies, Guildhall, in London, in 2016

Mark Cavendish and Peta Cavendish are pictured at The Millies, Guildhall, in London, in 2016

The athlete, 36, and his model wife Peta Todd were set upon by four armed thugs in a planned raid at his house in the Ongar area of Essex. Pictured: One of the watches stolen

The athlete, 36, and his model wife Peta Todd were set upon by four armed thugs in a planned raid at his house in the Ongar area of Essex. Pictured: One of the watches stolen 

Their children watched on in terror as their parents were attacked and have been left 'incredibly shaken' by the incident. Pictured: Another of the watches robbed

Their children watched on in terror as their parents were attacked and have been left ‘incredibly shaken’ by the incident. Pictured: Another of the watches robbed 

Mr Cavendish said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Cavendish suffered a collapsed lung and two broken ribs in his crash during the Ghent Six Day track event on November 21.

The Manxman, who was racing in the Madison with Deceuninck Quick-Step team-mate Iljo Keisse, saw world champion Lasse Norman Hansen crash in front of him.

But he could not react in time, rode into the Dane’s bike and was sent flying.

He stood and waved to spectators, but was put on a stretcher and taken to Ghent University Hospital, where he spent a night in intensive care.

Police were called to his home at 2.35am on Saturday, November 27. No arrests have been made. 

Cavendish wrote about the attack on his Instagram story on Wednesday afternoon, saying it was at knifepoint

Cavendish wrote about the attack on his Instagram story on Wednesday afternoon, saying it was at knifepoint 

One of the thugs is caught on CCTV as they launched their planned attack on the property last month

One of the thugs is caught on CCTV as they launched their planned attack on the property last month

The Tour de France winner also watched as the thugs took a Louis Vuitton suitcase from the family

The Tour de France winner also watched as the thugs took a Louis Vuitton suitcase from the family

Cavendish was one of several riders to crash in the final race of the Ghent Six Day track event

Cavendish was one of several riders to crash in the final race of the Ghent Six Day track event

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin said: '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 publicised'

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin said: ‘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 publicised’

The Tour de France cyclist had been recovering form a horror crash earlier in the year

The Tour de France cyclist had been recovering form a horror crash earlier in the year

In a separate statement on Twitter, Cavendish wrote: ‘In the early hours of November 27, while recovering at our Essex family home shortly after leaving intensive care, four masked and armed men forced their way in to our home as we slept, threatened my wife and children and violently attacked me. At knifepoint, they proceeded to ransack our belongings.

‘Amongst what was taken were two watches of great sentiment and value. But far, far worse to be taken was the sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that my young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home.

‘The effect that this nightmare has had on my family is already heart-breakingly evident, so I beg anybody who may be able to help us with information to call 101, quoting reference 42/275184/21. Thank you.’

Former page 3 model Peta Todd said she and husband Mark Cavendish were sleeping when the burglars entered their home during the ‘nightmare’ incident.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘In the early hours of November 27, at our Essex family home where my husband Mark was recovering shortly after leaving intensive care, four masked and armed men forced their way into our home as we slept.

‘They threatened myself and our children and violently attacked Mark. At knifepoint, they proceeded to ransack our belongings.

‘Amongst what was taken were two watches of great sentiment and value. But far, far worse to be taken was the sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that our young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home.

‘The effect that this nightmare has had on our family is already heart-breakingly evident, so we beg anybody who may be able to help us with information to call 101, quoting reference 42/275184/21. Thank you.’  

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin said: ‘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 publicised.

‘Our investigation is moving along at pace and we are following a number of lines of inquiry as we seek to catch those responsible.

‘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 recognises them to get in contact with us immediately.

Cavendish is pictured with his wife Peta and his children during the Natourcriterium Roeselare cycling race in July 2021 in Roeselare

Cavendish is pictured with his wife Peta and his children during the Natourcriterium Roeselare cycling race in July 2021 in Roeselare

None of the family sustained serious injuries and the burglars left, stealing a Louis Vuitton suitcase and two high-value watches

None of the family sustained serious injuries and the burglars left, stealing a Louis Vuitton suitcase and two high-value watches

‘We are also releasing images of the suitcase and two watches which were stolen during the incident.

‘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.

‘If you have been offered these items, please contact us immediately. We know an incident such as this will naturally cause a lot of concern within the community.

‘There will continue to be a visible policing presence in the area as our investigations progress in the coming days.’

Although police said the burglars were armed they declined to say what with.

In response to the couple’s posts on social media, celebrities have been sending their best wishes to Peta.

Replying on Instagram, Sir Chris Hoy wrote: ‘So sorry to hear this.’ 

Rebekah Vardy said: ‘So sorry to read this. Disgusting people. Sending love..’

Author Anna Mathur wrote: ‘Oh love xxxxx I can’t imagine how traumatic that must have been. Sending you love xx’

Writer Candice Brathwaite added: ‘Oh Peta, its never the time but so close to Christmas too – I hope the children are ok. Sending mad love.’

While London 2012 bronze medallist boxer Anthony Ogogo told Mark: ‘I’m so sorry to hear this Cav. Thoughts with you all.’

TOWIE star Billie Faiers commented: ‘I’m so sorry to read this. Sending lots of love to you and your family.’

A Place In The Sun presenter Laura Hamilton added: ‘Sending love to you all hun.’

The couple also alluded to the nightmare incident in previous social media posts.

Announcing he had signed a year-long contract extension with Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team, Mark wrote on Instagram on Tuesday: ‘After a tough couple of weeks, I’m delighted to share some happy news.’

Peta wrote ‘WEEKUS HORRIBILIS’ in the caption of a photo posted this week.

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