Cycling: Mark Cavendish assaulted by armed men during burglary at home

A suitcase and two watches of high value were stolen during the incident at Mark Cavendish's Essex home. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - British cyclist Mark Cavendish was assaulted by four armed men during a burglary at his home last month, Essex Police said on Wednesday (Dec 8).

Cavendish, 36, said on Instagram that he, his wife and their children were threatened at knifepoint and he was "violently attacked" in the early hours of Nov 27 at his home, in the Ongar area of Essex.

Essex Police are investigating the incident, which they said left the family "incredibly shaken".

A suitcase and two watches of high value were stolen, the statement added, and no arrests have yet been made.

None of the family sustained serious injuries.

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin said it was "undoubtedly" a targeted incident as Cavendish was recovering from broken ribs and a collapsed lung after a crash in the Six Days of Ghent track meeting in Belgium.

"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."

Cavendish enjoyed a remarkable return to form this year, sprinting to four stage wins at the Tour de France to equal the record of 34 set by Belgian great Eddy Merckx.

He signed a one-year contract extension with Deceuninck Quick-Step on Tuesday.

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