Mark Cavendish wins first Tour de France stage in five years - GulfToday

Mark Cavendish wins first Tour de France stage in five years


Mark Cavendish celebrates after winning the 4th stage of the 108th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on Tuesday. AFP, Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Veteran Mark Cavendish of Great Britain sat down on the road and cried after sprinting to his first Tour de France stage victory in five years on Tuesday, taking his tally of wins to 31 on the world's greatest bike race.

Cavendish was not expected to be among the eight riders selected by Deceuninck-Quick Step for the Tour but was a last-minute inclusion in the squad following Sam Bennett’s withdrawal. Known as the "Manx Missile," the rider from the Isle of Man shook his head in disbelief as he pulled on the jersey.

"It's been five years too long," said Cavendish, inching closer to Belgian cycling legend Eddie Merckx's record of 34 individual stage wins between 1969-75.

MarkCavendish-celebrationMark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the finish line. AFP

"There has been a lot of talk about my condition and I hope this gives hope to people in my condition," said the 36-year-old who was diagnosed in 2017 with the Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause persistent fatigue.

"I don’t know what to say,” Cavendish said. "Just being here is special enough. I didn’t think I would ever get to come back to this race."

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