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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 have been left 'incredibly shaken' by the incident.

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

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. 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 

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

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.'

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

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

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.

'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.

'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.