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Mark Cavendish’s chances of breaking Tour de France stage record handed lifeline

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Britain's Mark Cavendish, wearing the green jersey of the world's top sprinter, celebrates winning stage 13 of the 219.9 km (136.6 miles) Tour de France cycling race starting in Nimes and finishing in Carcassonne, France on July 20.  9, 2021 - Mark Cavendish's chance to break Tour de France stage record handed a lifeline - Christophe Ena/AP
Britain’s Mark Cavendish, wearing the green jersey of the world’s top sprinter, celebrates winning stage 13 of the 219.9 km (136.6 miles) Tour de France cycling race starting in Nimes and finishing in Carcassonne, France on July 20. 9, 2021 – Mark Cavendish’s chance to break Tour de France stage record handed a lifeline – Christophe Ena/AP

Many cyclists will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Mark Cavendish’s move to Astana has finally been confirmed. After a few weeks of speculation and intrigue, things got pretty agonizing. Even after a grainy photo of the 37-year-old loading his bags into the Astana team’s car at Alicante airport surfaced on social media last week, the Kazakh team didn’t say anything.

They may have left the time until 11 o’clock only to delay by a few days the inevitable tide of speculation that will now follow the elusive 35th stage of the Tour de France, which will take Cavendish away from Eddy Merckx and become the sole holder of the title of the most successful stage winner tour in history.

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Cavendish hates being asked about the recording. But he can’t deny that he’s desperately trying to break her. After winning his second British title last summer, he talked about how great it would be to win this 35th round in a British champion jersey. “These photos will stay there forever,” he said.

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Of course, Cavendish didn’t go to the Tour last year. Despite his good form, Manxman’s then Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl (now Soudal-Quick-Step) team chose to go with Fabio Jacobsen as sole lead sprintera decision they might have regretted as Jacobsen had just won one round in Denmark.

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It would be interesting to see how Cavendish copes with the support of the same leader. he enjoyed it so much in 2021when, after years of debilitating illness and injury, he returned to prominence with four stage victories and the green jersey. According to this correspondent, it remains one of the greatest sports comebacks of all time.

If he wants to break the record this year, Cavendish will have to beat not only the best sprinters in the world, but also Father Time. Cavendish will turn 38 in May. He will also have to do it effortlessly on his way to recognizable leadership. Astana is not the team that traditionally relied on the sprint.

They are not in the mood for it. And while there is talk that Dutch sprinter Siz Bol could follow Cavendish in the coming days, Astana have already reached their maximum of 30 riders allotted for the season and any move at this stage would require the dismissal of one of their current riders, possibly for development. command.

Cavendish no doubt hopes they can achieve this. A 6ft 4in Bolt will provide comfortable shelter from the wind for the last few miles.

Otherwise, the Cavendish will rely on the likes of Gianni Moscon, Martin Laas and Gleb Siritsa to get into position in the sprint.

It’s a far cry from two years ago enjoying a Rolls Royce train carrying then world champion Julian Alafalipp, Davide Ballerini and Michael Mörkov, reputedly the best presenter in the world.

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t write off Cavendish. This did not happen to him on the Champs Elysees in 2021.

I wonder if he had won his 35th stage that day, he would still be riding now. But he didn’t. Instead, he continued to black out, refusing to accept the dying of the light.

Now he has found himself with Astana, a team that, until a few weeks ago, apparently planned to build their season around Colombian climber Miguel Angel Lopez. Lopez’s dismissal for alleged ties to the doping ring – not to mention the identity of the Cavendish team’s new boss Alexander Vinokurov – may make some nauseous about the destination he’s arrived at.

But Cavendish himself will look only at the last glorious swan song. The 2023 season immediately became much more interesting.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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