Mark Cavendish stage wins: How latest Tour de France victory … Fri, 02 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0100-British sprinter extends his lead in the competition to 66 points.
The Manxman, who already has two wins to his name in this year's race, now leads the points classification by 66 points from Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix).
The green jersey was the only major sprinter to make it into the huge break that formed on the road from Vierzon to Le Creusot.
Vincenzo Nibali, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Philippe Gilbert, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Mathieu van der Poel, Xandro Muerisse (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Kasper Asgreen, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Imanol Erviti, Ivan Cortina (Movistar), Magnus Cort, Ruben Guerreiro (EF-Nippo), Michael Schar, Dorion Godon (AG2R Citroën), Jan Bakelants, Boy Van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka NextHash), Soren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech), and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) made it into the break after a highly competitive phase of racing.
With an intermediate sprint after 115km at Saint-Benin-D'Azy, any sprinters with aims of winning the green jersey needed to be attentive.
Only Cavendish made the cut, with his main rivals, like Philipsen, Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) all missing out.
At Saint-Benin-D'Azy, Asgreen gave Cavendish the perfect lead-out, with the former road race world champion and 2011 green jersey winner beating Van Poppel and Mohoric to the maximum 20 points available at the line.
Cavendish now leads Philipsen by 66 points.
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 168
2 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 102
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 99
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 96
5 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 84
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 84
7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 72
8 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 66
9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 64
10 Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 62
Mark Cavendish extends green jersey lead with intermediate sprint … Fri, 02 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0100-Now that Cavendish has brought his total stage wins to 32, the chances that he could at least equal Merckx's record in the 2021 race look high.
CHATEAUROUX — Nostalgia fans were given a treat on stage six of the 2021 Tour de France as Mark Cavendish claimed a second victory in this year’s race, but this time in the same town where he had claimed his first-ever victory in cycling’s blue riband event way back in 2008.
The Briton crossed the line with his hands clutching his helmet in disbelief, the same gesture he had used both 13 years ago as a second year pro, and again in 2011 when he took his 17th Tour de France stage win at the Châteauroux finish.
Cavendish recognised winning in Châteauroux at 36, two days after taking his first Tour victory in five years and 10 days after he was selected at the last minute for his Deceuninck-Quick Step Tour de France squad, was “a dream”.
But if yesterday represented a trip down memory lane, it also opens up a question about his immediate future.
Three stage wins 13 years apart. Mark Cavendish loves Chateauroux ❤️ ????♂️ 2008????♂️ 2011????♂️ 2021#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/hV7iJZDj3K
For nearly 50 years Eddy Merckx, cycling’s alltime great, has held the record for Tour de France stage wins, with 34. But now Cavendish brought his total to 32, the chances that he could at least equal Merckx’s record in the 2021 race look high.
Perhaps because his return to the race was so unexpected even for himself, up to now, Cavendish has been extremely taciturn on the subject. He even told one reporter, unwise enough to enquire on Tuesday about his chances of taking 34 or more stages in 2021, that “you’ve already forgotten how big it is to win one Tour stage if you’re asking questions like that, I’m afraid.”
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He was more forthcoming yesterday to Belgian TV, understandably keen to learn if Cavendish, who is racing in a Belgian team, was thinking about his chances of claiming a record long held by one of the country’s biggest stars.
After a long silence, Cavendish began by saying “No, I’m not thinking about that.” But he then continued, “Certainly you Belgians should know that you should not mention my name in the same breath as ‘him’. Eddy is Eddy. You cannot compare us with each other. It is not the same at all. They are just numbers.
“It could be that I win 50 more stages in the Tour, but today could also be my last victory.”
The Alpine stages this weekend are among the obstacles Cavendish faces to try and get a third win or more. They are the same mountains where Cavendish, who has never been comfortable on the climbs, finished outside the time limit in his previous Tour appearance back in 2018.
But should he get through the Alps, there is another sprint opportunity waiting for Cavendish as soon as next Tuesday at Valence, and in the remainder of the race, up to four more including Paris. And should he bring his total to 33 at any point between now and Paris, the questions about Merckx’s record are bound to return, and in far greater numbers.
Mark Cavendish: Forget Eddy Merckx’s stage wins record – just being back at Tour de France is fairytale enough
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– July 2, 2021
Mark Cavendish extends green jersey lead with intermediate sprint