Tour de France: Mark Cavendish wins stage 13 and matches Eddy Merckx’s record for victories

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Britain’s Mark Cavendish sprinted his 34th Tour de France victory on Friday in Carcassonne on stage 13. He thus equaled the record of the legendary Eddy Merckx.

And four! And 34! By winning the 13th stage of the Tour de France, the Briton Mark Cavendish won his fourth stage in this 2021 edition and the 34th of his career on the Big Loop. A performance that made him equal the success record of Belgian legend Eddy Merckx.

Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE) kept the yellow jersey after this transition stage in Languedoc.

Thirteen years after his first victories in the Tour, Cavendish, wearing the green jersey in the points classification, has won again. In Carcassonne, the native of the Isle of Man was ahead … his teammate, the Dane Michael Morkov, who did not seem to force to the line. Belgian Jasper Philipsen took third place.

An unexpected comeback for the veteran

Almost unemployed at the end of last year, Cavendish (36) has returned to the fore this season when he finds the team led by Patrick Lefevere. He returned to success in the Tour of Turkey and was started late for the Tour, replacing the 2020 green jersey, the Irishman Sam Bennett.

Unlike Merckx, the all-round champion of cycling who won on all terrains in the Tour between 1969 and 1975, Cavendish had his 34 wins in the sprint, his favorite field.

In the 220-kilometer stage linking Nîmes to Carcassonne, the Briton benefited from the work of his team which controlled the race. The Belgian formation locked the peloton first behind three riders, the French Pierre Latour, the Israeli Omer Goldstein and the American Sean Bennett, then in the final.

The Deceuninck, helped on occasion by the Alpecin team of Belgian Jasper Philipsen, let the trio escape from the 27th kilometer less than five minutes away. Without taking the slightest risk since it approached 2 minutes, 100 kilometers from the finish. Goldstein and Latour, the last to hold on, were picked up as they approached the last 50 kilometers shortly after a massive crash that knocked over twenty runners to the ground and caused three withdrawals (Roger Kluge, Simon Yates, Lucas Hamilton) .

As the final approached, Quentin Pacher tried his luck alone, in the 45 kilometers. The French resisted until 19 kilometers, earning the bib of the most combative of the day.

Mark Cavendish signed the 155th victory of his career, his 52nd in the Grand Tours as he also won 15 times in the Giro and 3 times in the Vuelta. The record for stage victories in a grand tour is however held by the Italian Mario Cipollini, winner 42 times in the Giro between 1989 and 2003.

Saturday, the 14th stage is aimed at backpackers between Carcassonne and Quillan, in the upper valley of the Aude. The 183.7 kilometer course includes five climbs or passes in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

With AFP

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