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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Mark Cavendish breaks Tour de France record in final outing

Mark Cavendish broke the Tour de France record for stage wins as he took his 35th victory in the highest-profile race in cycling.

The 39-year-old surpassed Eddy Merckx with a glorious sprint finish in the fifth stage in Saint Vulbas.

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Cavendish is in the middle of what is expected to be his final tour and had time to raise his arms in celebration as he crossed the finish line to take the win on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a full circle moment for the legendary cyclist, who was involved in a race-ending crash on stage eight of the 2023 Tour de France.

Speaking to ITV after, he said: “You sprint and go as hard as you can until you get to the finish and maybe your life changes if you cross that line first, maybe it doesn’t if you don’t.

“That is the nature of this race and what makes it so beautiful.”

Most thought last year was set to be Cavendish’s last Tour but he was determined to first claim the record for most stage wins.

And on his 15th attempt, he now stands alone as the most successful sprinter in the history of the event.


He has battled with illness, injuries and depression in recent years and appeared overcome with emotion as he embraced his team-mates.

Cavendish had not won a stage since 2021, where he won four times.

But now he can rest easy for the rest of the summer as he looks to finish with a few more successes on behalf of the Astana Qazaqstan team.

 

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