Mark Cavendish wins to close Eddy Merckx’s record – .

Mark Cavendish wins to close Eddy Merckx’s record – .

Mark Cavendish hadn’t claimed a Tour stage victory for five years before this year’s race

Mark Cavendish’s resurgence continued as he clinched his 32nd stage victory in the Tour de France to move closer to the 34-year-old record held by Belgian legend Eddy Merckx.

Cavendish passed Jasper Philipsen and Nacer Bouhanni to claim his second stage victory in this year’s race.

This is the third time that Cavendish has won at Châteauroux, the scene of his very first Tour victory in 2008.

Mathieu van der Poel finished in the peloton to keep the yellow jersey.

Cavendish is “really back”

As the battle for the overall standings will intensify as the race heads to the Alps this weekend, the 160.6km flat course from Tours to Chateauroux has favored the sprinters, and Cavendish in particular.

On the wide boulevard leading to the queue, the Manx driver showed his good humor and speed to get off the wheel of his leader Deceuninck-Quick-Step Michael Morkov and pass Philipsen and his teammate Alpecin-Fenix Tim Merlier.

Cavendish’s margin of victory was such that he even had time to recreate his direct celebration of 13 years ago – his first stage victory on the Tour.

“Wow. It’s been 10 years since my last victory here. It’s pretty special, ”said Cavendish, who also won at Châteauroux in 2011.

« Michael [Morkov] gave me space on the left to go but just wanted a fraction of a second more in the wheels so had to change gears.

“But you see guys, how good they shoot. You have the world champion Julian Alaphilippe who has just buried himself in the last kilometers, it’s something special. I’m buzzing now. “

His performance led to more moving scenes at the end, with Morkov telling reporters “he’s back, he’s really back”.

Cavendish, who has battled illness and injury in recent years, fears his career was coming to an end last winter when he found himself without a team.

But after replacing injured 2020 green jersey winner Sam Bennett a few days before the start of the Tour, he is taking the opportunity to return to the limelight at the age of 36.

With several sprint stages remaining in the race, Cavendish’s second victory in three days highlights Merckx’s 46-year record for stage wins.

“I don’t think about anything,” Cavendish said. “If it was my first or my 32nd, I just won a stage in the Tour de France, that’s why people ride all their lives.

“If I’m good enough to win 50 more or never win again, too bad, it’s the Tour de France. “

Results of the sixth stage

  1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3h 17min 36sec
  2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel / Alpecin-Fenix) Same time
  3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra / Arkea Samsic)
  4. Arnaud Demare (Fra / Groupama – FDJ)
  5. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)
  6. Cees Bol (Ned/DSM)
  7. Tim Merlier (Bel/Alpecin-Fenix)
  8. Wout Van Aert (Bel / Jumbo-Visma)
  9. Michael Matthews (Aus / BikeExchange)
  10. Mads Pedersen (Den / Trek-Segafredo

General classification after the sixth stage

  1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 20h 09min 17sec
  2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo / UAE Team Emirates) + 8secs
  3. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +30secs
  4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-QuickStep) +48secs
  5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana) +1min 21secs
  6. Pierre Latour (Fra / Total-Energies) + 1min 28secs
  7. Rigoberto Uran (Col / EF Education Nippo) + 1min 29secs
  8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den / Jumbo-Visma) + 1min 43secs
  9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 44secs
  10. Primoz Roglic (Slo / Jumbo-Visma) + 1min 48secs

Other selected

12. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 54secs​


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