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Sport

History-maker Cavendish eclipses Merckx with 35th Tour de France stage win

todayJuly 4, 2024 4

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Mark Cavendish made Tour de France history on Wednesday to eclipse Eddy Merckx and win a record 35th stage, the British veteran then pledging that his love affair with the great race was far from finished.

The 39-year-old beat Merckx’s mark, which had stood since 1975, on the fifth stage of this year’s Tour near the Alps having equalled it in 2021.

“It’s my 15th Tour de France and it takes a lot to get here, getting in shape every year,” Cavendish said at the line.

“I’m surrounded by incredible people and I owe a lot to them,” added Cavendish who made his Tour debut in 2008 before becoming world road race champion three years later.

As the peloton swept through the lush Rhone valley on stage five with vineyards and pretty villages skirting the river his Astana team hogged the front right of the peloton as light rain fell.

A long home straight in the tiny village of Saint-Vulbas helped them form a lead out train the ‘Manx Missile’ mastered after an early mix up and he powered across the finish line well ahead of Belgian Jasper Philipsen, last year’s sprint points green jersey winner.

“We didn’t nail it as a team like we wanted to do,” Cavendish insisted.

“But the boys improvised and got me there in the best position,” he added.

After celebrating with several of his children on the podium with his wife in the crowd Cavendish was in an exhausted mood.

“I love this race, I love it when I ride on it,” he told a packed out press conference.

“I love it when I watch it and I’ll try and continue to do that,” he added having also won stages on the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.

Supersport

AFP

Written by: Staff Writer

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