Mark Cavendish tied the all-time record of Tour de France stage wins when he sped over the finish line in Carcassonne on Friday for a landmark 34th victory in the race. It was Cavendish’s fourth win on the 2021 edition and sees the British sprinter equal Eddy Merckx’s 46-year-old record. The medieval Carcassonne citadel proved the perfect backdrop for Cavendish, who is guaranteed a rapturous reception on the Champs Elysees in Paris when the Tour winds up on July 18. Cavendish had until Friday steadfastly refused to hype the record due to his reverence for the great Belgian Merckx, who also won the Tour de France five times.
“It’s just another win on the Tour de France,” he said shortly after his narrow win.
“I can’t be compared to him,” said the Briton who has two more flat stages in which to actually beat the record.
“Eddy Merckx’s is the greatest rider of all time, and he will remain so,” said Cavendish.
STAGE 13 HIGHLIGHTS
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini