Retirement miles away as 'competitive' Cavendish closes in on Tour record outright

Mark Cavendish has revealed he has no plans to call time on his incredible career when an unforgettable Tour de France comes to an end in Paris.

Cavendish is in the midst of a remarkable return to form, with his four stage wins at La Grande Boucle bringing him level with Eddy Merckx for the most ever at 34.

With two more sprint stages set to take place before riders reach the Champs-Elysees, it’s believed the 36-year-old could walk away with one final, record-breaking sprint.

However, in an interview in the presence of Deceuninck Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere on Tuesday (AEST), Cavendish put all the rumours to bed.

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“I have thought about (the future) but I've got to speak to this man," Cavendish said, gesturing towards Lefevere.

"I just love it. I'm so happy riding my bike again, I'm so happy in this environment. I can't carry on doing it forever, but I still love it, I've shown I'm still competitive, so I'd like to carry on.

"I just love riding my bike and if it means there's something for other people to cheer and get inspiration from, for people to ride their own bikes as well, (then) I'd like to carry on doing it as long as my body will let me."

Cavendish will not have a chance to eclipse Merckx until Stage 19 on the road to Libourne, with three more days in the Pyrenees still to be had.



But despite being tight-lipped on any talk of the Belgian legend’s record in the past, the Manx Missile admitted he has since given it little thought – much like his green jersey hopes.

“I have the same ambition to win one more stage as it was to win one 13 years ago,” he said.

“It’s weird. There’s no sentiment to the thinking of wanting to win.

“It’s just about wanting to win whenever the situation arises.

“Throughout my whole career the stages take precedent. The green maybe comes from that, and that’s the same now.

“I didn’t plan to come here for green, I came to try to win a sprint stage and it just came as a bonus.

“It would be beautiful to have it in Paris and if we continue to win sprints, we should have it in Paris. It doesn’t change the game plan.”

The Tour de France continues with Stage 16 on Tuesday, LIVE from 8:30pm (AEST) on SBS and SBS On Demand, with the SKODA Tour Tracker app commencing at 8:55pm (AEST).


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3 min read
Published 13 July 2021 at 12:55pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS