The British sprinter prevails over the sprint at the Carcassonne finish line, reaching the record for stage triumphs held by the Belgian ‘Cannibal’
British sprinter Mark Cavendish won the sprint this Friday in the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France, ending in Carcassonne, and equals the record of 34 partial victories in the Grande Boucle of Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx. The Slovenian Tadej Pogacar kept the race leader’s yellow jersey without problems, on a day that had no consequences for the general classification.
It is the fourth victory in this edition of the Tour for the 36-year-old Cavendish, who overtook his Deceuninck teammate Michael Morkov and Jasper Philipsen, who deprived the Spaniard Iván García Cortina of finishing in the top three.
Cavendish has 155 professional victories since his debut in 2006, 52 of them in the three-week grand tours (34 on the Tour, 15 on the Giro and 3 on the Vuelta). The absolute record for victories in a three-week lap is held by Mario Cipollini, with 42 victories in the Giro d’Italia from 1989 to 2003.
«My colleagues were incredible. The end was a slight ascent and I have reached the limit ”, declared Cavendish as soon as he crossed the finish line, which was finding it difficult to breathe. “It was very hot,” added the Briton, who tried to detract from the record he just set. «I have not thought about it, for me it is another victory in the Tour de France. Like the first one.
Without a doubt, the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France was the most peaceful of those played so far. The length of the route, 220 kilometers on the second longest day of this edition and the proximity of the Pyrenean stages made the 155 survivors take the day in stride, except for the last 20 kilometers, which were very tense due to time.
The only shock for the peloton was a fall in the queue of the group in the absence of 60 kilometers in which some thirty runners were involved (Declercq, Poels, Higuita, De la Parte, Kragh Andersen and Bouhanni, among them) and that It caused the abandonment of the British Simon Yates, the Australian Lucas Hamilton (both from the Bike Exchange Team) and the German Roger Kluge, who was the last classified in the Tour, at 2:44:54 behind the leader Pogacar.
It took almost 30 kilometers to form the break of the day, made up of three riders (Omer Goldstein, Sean Bennett and Pierre Latour), perfect for the Deceuninck team, who could control it more easily than if it were more numerous. They were never more than four minutes clear and were caught 50 kilometers to go.
The Deceuninck tried to break the group in those final 20 kilometers of high wind, but it did not matter to him that he did not succeed since he kept Cavendish’s bullet in the chamber and the native of the Isle of Man, who lives a second youth, did not fail in his attempt to match Merckx. Now the goal until Paris will be to surpass the Belgian myth, although Merckx will continue to be considered the best cyclist of all time, capable of winning on any terrain, unlike Cavendish, who is a sprint specialist.
The British will not be able to break the record on Saturday’s stage, of 183.7 kilometers of route between Carcassonne and Quillan, which in an aperitif of the Pyrenean days that will come in the following days, cyclists will have to overcome three second-category ports (the last of them 20 kilometers from the finish line) and two third.
Classification of the thirteenth stage
|1. Mark Cavendish||UK||Deceuninck||5h04: 29|
|2. Michael Morkov||Denmark||Deceuninck||mt|
|3. Jasper Philipsen||Belgium||Alpecin||mt|
|4. Iván García||Spain||Movistar||mt|
|5. Danny van Poppel||Netherlands||Intermarché||mt|
|6. Álex Aranburu||Spain||Astana||mt|
|7. Christophe Laporte||France||Cofidis||mt|
|8. André Greipel||Germany||Israel Start-Up Nation||mt|
|9. Magnus Nielsen||Denmark||EF Education – Nippo||mt|
|10. Jasper Stuyven||Belgium||Trek-Segafredo||mt|
|1. Tadej Pogacar||Slovenia||UAE Emirates||52h27: 12|
|2. Rigoberto Urán||Colombia||EF Education-NIPPO||at 5:18|
|3. Jonas Vingegaard||Denmark||Jumbo||at 5:32|
|4. Richard Carapaz||Ecuador||Ineos||at 5:33|
|5. Ben O’Connor||Australia||AG2R||at 5:58|
|6. Wilco Kelderman||Netherlands||Bora||at 6:16|
|7. Alexey Lutsenko||Kazakhstan||Astana||at 6:30|
|8. Enric Mas||Spain||Movistar||at 7:11|
|9. Guillaume Martin||France||Cofidis||at 9:29|
|10. Pello Bilbao||Spain||Bahrain||at 10:28|