Mark Cavendish

Tour de Force
  • Tour de Force

  • 'I pulled off my glasses and wiped my eyes. "That was perhaps the last race of my career..."'

    Deep down, Mark Cavendish thought he was finished. After illness, setbacks and clinical depression, the once fastest man in the world had been written off by most. And at the age of 36, even he believed his explosive cycling career would fade out with a whimper. The Manxman hadn't won a single Grand Tour stage in Italy, Spain or France since 2016.

    But then came his incredible resurrection at the 2021 Tour de France. Included on the Deceuninck Quick-Step team at the very last minute, only after Sam Bennett suffered an injury, Mark set about rewriting history. He claimed back the green jersey he first wore in 2011, and his four stage victories finally saw him matching Belgian legend Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34 Tour de France stage wins. Cycling greats are never content, and Cav's dogged determination and inner strength had earned him the record that few believed he could ever achieve. This is his own intimate account of that race, right from the saddle of the miracle tour.

Mark Cavendish MBE is widely regarded as the greatest sprinter in the history of cycling and is the 'Tour de France's best sprinter of all time', according to L' Équipe. Born and raised on the Isle of Man and having experienced early success on the track, Cav joined professional road cycling team T-Mobile in 2006 as a stagiaire. During the 2008 season, he made his first big impact at the grand tours, winning two stages at the Giro d'Italia followed by four victories at the Tour de France at the age of just 22. Following his early career success, Cav went on to dominate the sport. On the track he became Madison World Champion in 2005, 2008 and 2016 and at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio he represented Great Britain in the Omnium event, winning a silver medal. On the road, Cav has achieved a phenomenal 52 Grand Tour stage wins, has won points jerseys at all three grand tours and in 2011 won the coveted green jersey at the Tour de France for the first time, as well as becoming UCI Road Race World Champion. His achievements led to him winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year, as well as receiving an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen. In the summer of 2021 Cav created history - in what many have called the greatest sporting comeback of all time - by equalling Eddy Merckx's long standing record of 34 Tour de France stage wins and winning the green jersey for the second time in his career in the process. He currently rides for UCI World Team Deceuninck-Quick-Step.

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