Cyclist Mark Cavendish has equaled the record number of stage victories of cycling icon Eddy Merckx with his 34th stage victory in the Tour de France. The 36-year-old British sprinter from Deceuninck – Quick-Step won the sprint in Carcassonne after a 219.9 kilometer stage, which started in Nîmes. He stayed ahead of his Danish teammate Michael Mørkøv and the Belgian Jasper Philipsen.
Cavendish won his first Tour stage in 2008 in Châteauroux, the arrival place where he added his 32nd stage win this year in the sixth stage. He previously won the fourth stage in Fougères and then the tenth stage in Valence. With possible sprints in Libourne and Paris, the British sprinter can improve Merckx’s record even more.
The yellow jersey remains on the shoulders of Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.
Three riders were given the space of the sprinter teams to leave early in the stage. They were Frenchman Pierre Latour, American Sean Bennett and Israeli Omer Goldstein. The trio got a maximum lead of more than four minutes, but were caught up with 53 kilometers to go.
Shortly before that, there was a heavy crash in the peloton, in which about twenty riders went to the ground and some ended up on the verge of the road. German Roger Kluge and Briton Simon Yates had to retire due to the injuries and Team DSM was involved with many riders, although they were able to continue. Wout Poels was also one of the victims.
Quentin Pacher tried it alone up front. The Frenchman took a one-minute lead, but was no match for the sprinter teams on his own. In the messy final kilometers in Carcassonne, Deceuninck – Quick-Step took the lead. Because the team dropped a gap for Davide Ballerini, the competition was surprised. Then Mørkøv launched Cavendish who only had to stay ahead of Philipsen to take the historic victory. Danny van Poppel finished fifth. (ANP)
Also read: Mark Cavendisch on the hunt for Eddy Merckx’s record