Mark Cavendish began this 12 months’s Tour de France dreaming of turning into its prolific stage winner.
- Mark Cavendish crashed out with a suspected shoulder damage
- Cavendish ends his Tour de France profession with 34 stage wins, equal with all time nice Eddy Merckx
- Cavendish is a two-time inexperienced jersey winner on the Tour
He ended it mid-way by way of stage eight in an ambulance, his race and Tour de France profession over.
The 38-year-old rider from the Isle of Man was already the best sprinter in Tour de France historical past.
No different rider has come shut to his 34 wins in bunch-sprints — the bear-pit of skilled biking the place none however the bravest of riders can afford to combine it in shut confines at speeds in extra of 70 kilometres per hour.
Long-retired Frenchmen André Darrigade and André Leducq are closest to matching him with 22 every.
As properly as successful the inexperienced factors jersey twice, Cavendish has received the long-lasting remaining stage on the Champs-Élysées a record 4 instances — no different rider has received that the majority well-known of phases greater than twice.
His 4 wins in a row within the Tour’s remaining stage was highlighted by successful on the planet champions rainbow jersey, having been led out for the win by yellow jersey winner and long-time pal Bradley Wiggins in 2012.
Cavendish, in the meantime, has received 34 stage wins between 2008 and 2021, equalling the record of biking’s biggest ever rider, Eddy Merckx.
He wanted only one extra win to stand alone.
That win nearly got here on stage seven, when a mechanical challenge meant he couldn’t totally commit to his dash when bursting into the end at Marseille.
Instead, Jasper Philipsen breezed previous the British star to declare a third-straight dash win.
“I would have loved to see him win, like everybody,” Philipsen stated after that win.
“For sure he will keep trying.”
Unfortunately for Cavendish, his chance to break the record won’t ever come.
The finish, when it got here, was innocuous.
A contact of wheels in the direction of the center of the peloton making a ripple impact that noticed Cavendish hit the deck, instantly grabbing at his helmet and shoulder.
He knew his Tour profession was over, you solely wanted to have a look at the devastation on his face.
Cavendish introduced that he’ll retire on the finish of this season, which means this 14th and remaining Tour de France was his final chance to break a record that has stood since 1975.
Danish rider Mads Pedersen received a livid uphill dash to declare the eighth stage, edging Philipsen and Wout van Aert.
“For me it was a pleasure to be able to race with Mark,” Pedersen stated on the finish of the stage.
“It’s so sad that such a legend has to finish the Tour like this.”
Jonas Vingegaard completed within the pack and stays within the yellow jersey.