Tour de France 2021: Mark Cavendish equals Eddy Merckx’s all-time record with 34th stage victory

Tour de France 2021: Mark Cavendish equals Eddy Merckx’s all-time record with 34th stage victory

Mark Cavendish won his fourth stage of the Tour de France 2021

Mark Cavendish equaled the record for Tour de France stage victories by winning the 34th of his career at Carcassonne.

Cavendish joined Eddy Merckx in taking the victory ahead of his own leader Michael Morkov, Jasper Philipsen third at the end of stage 13 of 220 km from Nimes, giving Cavendish his fourth victory on this year’s Tour.

The 36-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable return to form and capitalized on an unexpected selection for the Deceuninck-QuickStep squad, winning his first stages in the race since 2016.

Cavendish is getting closer to the Belgian Merckx, five-time overall winner of the Tour, who won the last of his stage victories in 1975.

If he can stay safe in the mountain stages ahead, the Manxman should have two more opportunities to break the record, first on stage 19 in Libourne and then on the last day on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Cavendish had a brilliant sprint to win stage 13

Friday’s stage had been announced for a breakaway – Carcassonne, hosting a stage for the 11th time, had never seen a final sprint before – but Cavendish’s Deceuninck-QuickStep team did a good job scoring the first moves forward. to allow a three-way movement to stand up. the road.

The race resumed later – a tense finish marked by a significant crash 65 km from the finish – but Cavendish’s teammates dominated the road into the citadel to position him for the win.

Philipsen tried to get around the outside inside the final 100 meters, but Cavendish once again proved to be the strongest to extend his advantage in the points leader’s green jersey.

Cavendish looked exhausted as he collapsed to the ground after arriving before being assaulted by his teammates.

“I went so deep there,” he said. “The boys were amazing. I can not believe. Much of the day I didn’t feel like it (was going to happen) but it had to happen because I had the guys riding the way they were.

“I was so at the limit there. “

Asked again about the record, he added: “I didn’t achieve it. It’s just yet another Tour de France victory. It’s like my first. I won a stage of the Tour de France. This is what I dreamed of. child and that’s what I dream of now.

“I worked so hard for this. We have seen such growth, especially in the UK, in cycling since I started racing here at the Tour de France.

“If one of my victories can inspire the children to participate in the Tour de France or the Tour de France Women next year when they are grown up, that’s what matters most to me, I think. “


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