Although Cavendish is racing in Wednesday's Dwars door Vlaanderen and Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem - Belgian classics missing from his impressive palmares - the 29-year-old is dropping in and out of the capital to be unveiled as the star attraction of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic later this summer.
[Cavendish to ride in London one-day classic]
Cavendish - whose hopes of adding a second Milan-San Remo crown to his name on Sunday came undone with an untimely chain drop on the Cipressa - soon chats freely to the press after apologising for joining the party a little late (something you cannot often say about a rider who London mayor Boris Johnson says will "race up The Mall faster than a rocket" this August).
Cavendish: 'Crashes manageable compared with mental health struggles'
The Etixx-QuickStep sprinter covers a range of topics from that unfortunate mechanical setback ("that's bike racing") to the recent Cycling Independent Reform Commission report ("it's just the same s*** from the last decades piled into one document"), not forgetting to heap praise on San Remo winner, John Degenkolb, a former team-mate of his from the heady HTC Highroad years ("there's much more to come from him").
But his priority is to talk about his impending appearance on British soil at the RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday 2nd August. Back for a third outing, the 200km race is part of the largest festival of cycling in the world - a two-day bonanza that is expected to see 95,000 amateur riders take part across five different events, including a free ride around closed streets in London, the 100-mile RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive and the most gentlemanly Brompton World Championships.
Although not a WorldTour event, the Prudential RideLondon is the richest single one-day classic in the world, its €100,000 bounty some €8k more generous that that of the historic Paris-Roubaix.
Not that it's money that motivates Cavendish. "If I'm honest, for me personally it's not massive," he says. "I get paid handsomely from my team to win all the races I enter, including the Prudential RideLondon. But for the others in the team, sure, it's a big incentive."
Taking place over narrow, undulating roads in the Surrey countryside - including the amateur cyclist's notch-in-the-bedpost that is Box Hill - the race (last year won by Britain's Adam Blythe for Continental outfit NFTO) features six-man teams in a bid to stop one team taking a stranglehold and making things predictable.
What are Cavendish's views on the format? "Obviously, I'd like the race to be controlled by my team," he laughs. "But this will allow for more aggressive racing."
Cavendish has something of a love-hate relationship with London and the Mall, having won the Olympic test event here in 2011 before famously missing out at the 2012 Olympics when Team GB made a hash of chasing down the Alexander Vinokourov-flavoured break. Winner on Whitehall when the Tour of Britain came to town one year later, Cav's was denied a Buckingham Palace bonanza during the 2014 Tour de France after crashing out in the opening stage to Harrogate.
Does he have unfinished business in London? "Absolutely. But that's bike racing: you have two-hundred riders and only one winner, which is why it's so beautiful. Obviously I'd like to win on home soil. But I'd try and win regardless of the location.
"British races are among the best organised races in the world. I'm proud to race under the flat that I was born under. To be part of the growth and evolution of cycling here in the UK is exciting - whatever the weather."
Marcel Kittel won that third stage of the Tour - but the German superstar has struggled for form this year following a series of illnesses. Cavendish, conversely, has had a promising start to the season, with six wins so far. Is it encouraging that his main rival appears to be in a bad place?
"I tend not to look at my competitors. I get more confidence from riding well than seeing Kittel struggling. The aim is to get the best from myself and go to the Tour to win stages. I'm in great shape, the team is strong and my lead-out is going very well."
Cavendish looked to be in competitive knick on the Ligurian coast on Sunday, but when his chain dropped on the penultimate climb of the Cipressa he struggled to keep in touch with the leaders, eventually crossing the line 23 seconds down alongside Andre Greipel and Vincenzo Nibali.
It was the second time Cavendish dropped a chain in the past week, with an incident in Tirreno-Adriatico bringing down Team Sky's Elia Viviani. To make matters worse, Cavendish's team-mates Michal Kwiatkowski and Zdenek Stybar were caught up in a crash inside the final few kilometres on Sunday when BMC's Philippe Gilbert overcooked a bend on the descent of the Poggio.
Perhaps it's time for Cav to mend that stiff link...?
"Look, ideally we would go a whole career without mechanical issues but this is bike racing. As you can see with all sports - especially Formula 1 - you can be leading the race and then there's an issue and it's all over.
"It's unlucky because after my incident, another rider crashed in front of our guys and there was nothing they could do. We had a very strong team looking for a strong result. But in a 300km race you can't afford to have any mishaps. At the end of the day, things didn't go right for us. But we've had it the other way too - and this season Etixx still have the best results so far."
Despite his early season success, Cavendish finds himself out of contract next season. Is he worried about what lies ahead?
"I don't think there's much uncertainty. I'm obviously nowhere near drawing my career to a close. Being out of contract is something that happens to every bike racer at some point. I've had a strong start to the year and my focus is on winning races first and foremost. Then hopefully a new contract will follow."
Cavendish shows his mildly irritable side when asked whether or not he's considered following Bradley Wiggins' tracks in a bid to win an elusive Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016.
"I've never had the intention of leaving the road to ride track," he says. "It would only ever be to compliment the road. And I'd never leave the road in the middle of my career - there's just no career to be had on the track. As a British rider the Olympics doesn't mean anything, but as a British athlete it would be very important. It would be a patriotic landmark for me, but riding again on the track would add very little to my career."
Before the conference call comes to a close, Cavendish is asked to share his thoughts on the recently published CIRC report. You can almost hear the sigh on the other end of the line; the Manxman doesn't mince his words.
"If I'm brutally honest there's nothing new," he says. "It's just the same s*** from the last decades piled into one document. It would be an understatement to say that it was a little bit frustrating. I wasn't asked to contribute at all. The views given are absolutely not representative of the peloton. The quotes are from unreliable sources that don't mean anything and warp the sense of the document."
Our collective time is up, but Cavendish has kindly agreed to hold the line for a five-minute chinwag with Eurosport. Here it is in full...
Hello Mark. You currently have 25 Tour stage wins to your name. Can you reach Bernard Hinault's tally of 28 stage wins? Or even Eddy Merckx's 34 wins?
MC: I don't know. As you can see from last year, anything can happen. Such comparisons are usually used by the media to quantify what I've done - especially for the UK audience, many of whom couldn't understand how come I had never won the Tour de France. You have to remember that just one stage win can often make a career. If I'm good enough for one win a year for the rest of my career, then I'm happy with that.
Do you see yourself competing for another green jersey?
MC: I've always said that the green jersey is something that comes from winning stages. My plan has always been to win stages as a way of hopefully winning the green jersey too.
Should the wins start to dry up in, say, three to four years' time, would you be prepared to become a lead-out man for team-mates in the mould of Alessandro Petacchi?
MC: That's not fair! Alessandro is 12 years older than me. I'm only 29 now. You know, I always find it quite funny that some people say I'm over it before praising other riders who are just a year or so younger than me who are supposedly 'coming of age'. I've still got a lot to give.
Would you say fatherhood has mellowed you as a competitor?
MC: It does help but being a father hasn't taken my overall desire to win away. If anything, it's had the opposite affect - I have an even greater desire to win, but more so for my family rather than for myself. Everything I do now is for my daughter so she can be proud of her dad.
You said some very gracious and complementary words about John Degenkolb after he won on Sunday...
MC: John was a team-mate of mine for a year and we have a good relationship. I really like him as a person and rate him as a rider. He's extremely underrated and there's much more to come from him. He'll have many more opportunities to add to this victory.
It's your 30th birthday coming up in a couple of months (21st May). Any plans for the big day?
MC: I'm not sure if I'm riding or not. I'm usually always riding and I always remember it being a f***ing hard day on my birthday. No doubt it will probably be more of the same! To be honest, I haven't really given it much thought. My daughter's birthday is much more important to me. I'm not sure how old you are, but as you get older birthdays mean less. I'm not getting worked up at turning 30 because I'm very happy with my life. I have a beautiful wife and daughter and my career's going pretty well. It certainly takes the pressure off.
And on that note, his 33-year-old, single, childless, impoverished freelance interviewer (with a palmares smaller than Euskaltel in the Belgian classics), thanks Cavendish for his time and bids Britain's former world champion goodbye.
Mark Cavendish - who finished 61st in Wednesday's Dwars door Vlaanderen cobbled classic - will ride the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic for Etixx-QuickStep on Sunday 2nd August 2015.
Felix Lowe - on Twitter @saddleblaze
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