Tour de France | Mark Cavendish wins 35th stage and sets record

(Saint-Vulbas) Mark Cavendish broke Eddy Merckx’s mark by signing his 35e career stage victory at the Tour de France on Wednesday.

Published at 11:49 a.m.

Updated at 1:02 p.m.

The 39-year-old veteran won the final sprint on stage five of the Tour de France, dropping his main rivals with around 100 metres to go. He crossed the finish line ahead of Jasper Philipsen, before jumping into his teammate’s arms.

Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey as leader of the cumulative standings, but this feat was relegated to the background.

Cavendish matched Merckx’s mark of 34 stage wins during the 2021 Tour de France, and came very close to achieving the feat on stage seven last year when he was narrowly beaten by Philipsen. He crashed the following day and suffered a broken right collarbone.

Merckx, a Belgian who is considered one of the greatest cyclists in history, won 34 stages of the Tour de France between 1969 and 1975.

Cavendish’s decision to take one last chance paid off.

I just wanted the opportunity to do it. I’m a little shocked. Astana took big risks this year to put us in a good position this year at the Tour de France. We did it.

Mark Cavendish

After seeing his Tour de France suddenly cut short in 2023, Cavendish decided to postpone his retirement by a year to give it one last try.

Things started badly for Cavendish in the first three stages. During the first he appeared to be bothered by stomach problems and the heat.

However, this did not affect his confidence level.

“I know how it works; my coach and everyone around me knows how it works. If everyone knew what it was, everyone would be riding and my job would be a lot harder,” the Isle of Man cyclist said on Wednesday. “I’ve ridden the Tour de France 15 times. I hate having a bad day at the office, I hate being in pain, but I know it’s all mental and you just have to hang in there and persevere.”

Cavendish has finally made road cycling history – 16 years after his first stage victory, at the Tour de France in 2008.


Mark Cavendish celebrates his victory with teammate Cees Bol

The other cyclists were delighted for Cavendish; several stopped to hug him after a 177 km ride between Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne and Saint-Vulbas.

Montrealer Guillaume Boivin, from the Israel-Premier Tech team, made his mark with the 22e place. His teammates Derek Gee and Hugo Houle followed at 28e et 75e levels, respectively.

In the cumulative ranking, Gee is 21e at 4:47 from Pogacar, while Houle and Boivin are 64e et 132ein order.

With The Canadian Press



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