McEwen 'a believer' as Cavendish moves step closer to Merckx

SBS Tour de France commentator Robbie McEwen believes it’s only a matter of time until Mark Cavendish surpasses Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins in Tour de France history.

Cavendish took advantage of a superb Deceuninck Quick-Step lead-out just over 100 metres from the finish line and held on to take Stage 10 in Valence.

It was yet another impressive finish from the 36-year-old and McEwen was on hand to explain just how the green jersey leader got it done.

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“It was Mark Cavendish’s teammates from Deceuninck Quick-Step,” McEwen explained.

“It was Davide Ballerini, then Michael Morkov – the man who’s an expert in his job – (then) the green jersey of Cavendish.

“And then behind (him) already at this point: Wout van Aert, he’s a little bit out to the left catching some wind, [Nacer] Bouhanni, he’s doing the same on this (right) side.

“Peter Sagan, he can see Cavendish's back wheel, (but) he just can't get there – he’s blocked. Back behind him, Jasper Philipsen, (and) over on this side, Michael Matthews.

“As we roll on, Ballerini is going to swing across, Morkov through that gap, (and) Cavendish starts to line it up and the speed goes right up.

“But they’re getting Cavendish – at this point – 130 metres from the finish.

“So, Cavendish, he’s straight through the gap. Wout van Aert, he’s looking for an opening (but) doesn't see one.

“He’s hoping he can get through here (on the left), if he goes here (on the right), it's a very long way around.

“Jasper Philipsen, he’s following the wheel of Wout van Aert (and) he’s waiting for things to open up on the right-hand side, (as) he wants to get through past Bouhanni. Then, he’s got to get past Michael Morkov and they’re all running out of time.

“That’s why the lead-out was so perfect; Mark Cavendish had to sprint for no more than 130 metres.

“So, as we roll through, you see Morkov – job done, through the narrow gap and it takes away time that Wout van Aert needs to get out into clean air and start having a go at Mark Cavendish.

“He (Cavendish) holds them off easily (despite) a fast-finishing Philipsen, but it’s 33 (stage wins) for Mark Cavendish.

“The record of Eddy Merckx, 34 stage wins in the Tour, it's starting to look inevitable.

“Just don’t say that to Mark Cavendish yet, but I’m a believer.”



The Tour de France continues tonight with Stage 11 and you can catch all the action from 8:30pm (AEST) on SBS and SBS On Demand, with the SKODA Tour Tracker app commencing at 7:50pm (AEST).


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3 min read
Published 7 July 2021 at 8:58am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS