Cycling News

It’s officially official: Mark Cavendish to the Tour

It’s officially official: Mark Cavendish to the Tour

Mark Cavendish, aiming to take his record 35th stage win in the Tour de France, has been officially confirmed as part of the Astana Qazaqstan team roster. Although hardly a surprise he would do the Tour, if you told him last year that he would be lining up again for another go, he’d call you crazy.

In the summer of 2023, Cavendish narrowly missed the chance to surpass Eddy Merckx’s stage win record. However, a crash dashed his hopes in what was believed to be his final Tour. Having decided to postpone retirement at the end of the 2023 season, the Manx sprinter is now gearing up for another shot at making history during the three-week Grand Tour.

Amped up leadout train

Recently knighted at 39 years old, Cavendish will benefit from a formidable sprint support team within the Kazakh squad, led by long-time lead-out man Michael Mørkøv of Denmark. Alongside Mørkøv, Dutchman Cees Bol and Italian Davide Ballerini add to the lineup of fast men. This ensures Cavendish is well-positioned for the anticipated sprint finishes.

One last go to be king

Sir Mark Cavendish boasts a remarkable 164 professional victories, including the 34 stage wins in the Tour de France. Known for his aggressive racing style, Cavendish has occasionally clashed with fellow racers and race officials. However, in the latter part of his career, he has evolved into a more amiable personality off the bike.

A solid start to 2024

Having already clinched two wins this season and garnered crucial race miles at the Tour de Suisse in June, Cavendish’s first opportunity to surpass Merckx could arise on Stage 3, from Piacenza to Turin, a few days after the 2024 Grand Départ in Florence. Additionally, Stages 5, 6, and 8 present further chances for bunch sprints.

Almost 40 years old, it will be interesting to see if the Manx Missile can fire on all cylinders. Either way, this has to be his last crack at the record. Right?


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