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Watch Mark Cavendish make Tour de France history

Watch Mark Cavendish make Tour de France history

He did it! Sir Mark Cavendish took the win at Stage5, seizing his 35th Tour de France stage victory and setting a new record on Wednesday.. Despite a chaotic finale after 177km from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Saint-Vulbas, Cavendish, who delayed retirement following last season’s Tour crash, outkicked Belgian Jasper Philipsen and Norway’s Alexander Kristoff to clinch first place.

“I’m getting old and I’ve got to get in shape every year and it’s hard. But everyone has been involved, I’ve got a lot of support. My family came yesterday. Perfect timing,” he said after the stage. “Winning one stage can make a career and I’ve always felt the need to win one more, and another one after that.”

Well worth the wait for the W

It was a storybook ending (although the Tour ain’t over yet, so here’s lookin’ at you, 36?) to an incredible career. In 2022, he wasn’t selected for the TdF, and then left his Soudal – QuickStep squad for Astana. During the 2023 edition, all eyes were on Cav to break the record he shared with the great Eddy Merckx. He came close taking a second in stage 7. But then, disaster on Stage 8. 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, at 39, announced he’d be back for another go at the record.

The 2024 Tour did not begin well for Mark Cavendish

The story was already off to a rough start on Stage 1. Cavendish experienced two bouts of vomiting during the stage: once near the top of the initial climb and again on the descent, causing him to fall behind on the Col de Valico Tre Faggi. To support him, four teammates from Astana dropped back.

Despite the assistance from his teammates, the British sprinter, in his final Tour appearance, finished the stage nearly 40 minutes after the winner, France’s Romain Bardet.

Mark Cavendish truly won at the Tour de France today

The day unfolded with punishing climbs and intense heat. Throughout the 206-km route from Florence to Rimini, which featured seven categorized climbs and temperatures peaking at 36°C, the British cyclist struggled from the outset to the finish line in Rimini, marking a challenging start to his pursuit of a record-breaking 35th Tour stage victory.

After suffering a few more days in the hills, and a moutain, Cav got another shot to do what he does best: sprint. And he delivered. As the kids say, “He understood the assignment.”

What a…

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