Cavendish stands alone after record-breaking victory in Saint-Vulbas

Cavendish stands alone after record-breaking victory in Saint-Vulbas

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Sir Mark Cavendish has today broken the all-time record for Tour de France stage victories, with a 35th win on stage five in Saint-Vulbas. The victory takes him past the record he jointly held with Eddy Merckx, and further cements his place in the sport’s history books as the greatest sprinter of all time.

Cavendish extended his career by a further year after being forced to abandon the 2023 Tour with a broken collar-bone and sealed his record-breaking feat this afternoon 16 years after his first victory at the world’s biggest race.

Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Director, Stephen Park CBE, said: 

“On behalf of British Cycling I would like to congratulate Sir Mark on a truly outstanding achievement. It goes without saying that Mark is one of the greatest British riders of all time, and to cap off his final season of racing with another victory at the sport’s biggest race is a fitting final chapter in a glittering career.

“We have been proud to support Mark from his early days on the Great Britain Cycling Team academy to his final Tour de France, and this is an incredibly special day for the coaches, support staff, fellow riders and fans who have all played a role in his journey.

“Mark’s long and storied career, his passion for the sport and his tenacious pursuit for excellence make him a real inspiration for the next generation of bike riders looking to follow in his footsteps. He is one of our country’s truly great sportsmen and sporting personalities, and it has been a privilege to have watched him reign supreme for all these years.”

Having started out on the Great Britain Cycling Team Junior Academy in 2003, Cavendish quickly rose to prominence winning his first track world title in 2005. Having signed for professional road team T-Mobile soon after in 2006, Cavendish's first Tour stage win came in 2008 on stage five, Cholet to Châteauroux and was quickly followed by three more wins in that year’s edition. 

Since then, Cavendish has continued to rack up wins over a total of 10 Tours, matching Merckx’s record in Carcassonne on stage 13 of the 2021 Tour de France. His focus will now turn to opportunities to win stage 36, starting with another sprint opportunity on tomorrow’s stage six.