As the world’s current top cycling sprinter Caleb Ewan won the Grand Prix de l’Escaut on Wednesday, the great British veteran and former world champion Mark Cavendish possibly made his last appearance. As unfortunate as the news was to hear, no serious race watched could’ve been surprised as the his career had been a downward slide for the last two seasons.
Cavendish wiped away tears this week saying he was possibly at the end of a career which has produced 30 Tour de France stages, a record only bettered by Eddy Merckx on 34.
While Merckx was of course an all rounder, Cavendish was the greatest pure sprinter the Tour has ever seen and would surely have surpassed Merckx but for fallow spells in his career.
The 35-year-old has suffered with Epstein-Barr virus and depression in recent times and does not yet have a contract for 2021. “I don’t want to stop. I love this sport,” he told Belgian media. “But this might have been my last race. I was looking forward to this race and I was enjoying racing in Belgium. It’s pure racing like when I was a kid again. I don’t have a desire to stop.”
On Wednesday Cavendish ripped off his race number from his bib and pocketed it before leaving the event, sparking speculation it was a souvenir.
CAVENDISH THROUGH THE AGES