Veteran Tour de France rider Mark Cavendish of Great Britain returns to the Tour de France after a three-year hiatus. He was named as part of the Deceuninck-QuickStep’s squad. The 2021 Tour de France kicks off at Brest in the Brittany region of France.
The last time Mark Cavendish participated in the Tour de France was in 2018. One of the greatest road sprinters of all time, the 36-year-old’s 30 Tour stage wins is only second to Eddy Merckx of Belgium.
Mark Cavendish was included in the Deceuninck-QuickStep after Sam Bennett of Ireland was ruled out with an injury. Bennett won the green jersey in the 2020 Tour de France.
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Mark Cavendish “delighted to be going back to the Tour de France”
Speaking to AFP, Cavendish said:
“I am delighted to be going back to the Tour de France with Deceuninck-QuickStep. Obviously, the circumstances with Sam could be better – he had a special Tour last year and I am sad for him not being able to defend his green jersey. But at the same time, I am excited to be going back to a race that I have such an affinity with and where I have so much history. It is the biggest bike race in the world, and I am going to do all I can to grab this opportunity with both hands.”
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Mark Cavenidsh has had a good 2021, winning four stages of the Tour in Turkey which was held in April. He also won the final stage of Tour in Belgium earlier this month.
Ireland’s Bennett had a “very minor incident” at training which has hurt his knee. Bennett was quoted as saying in multiple reports:
“Needless to say, I’m very disappointed to not be able to defend my green jersey at this year’s Tour de France. While the injury I sustained is very short-term, it impacted my training for the biggest bike race in the world all too much and left me without enough time to be race fit.”
In 2012, Mark Cavendish made history by winning the final stage, Champs-Élysées of Tour de France, in four consecutive years. In 2020, he was part of the Bahrain-McLaren team.
Earlier, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mark Cavendish had shown interest in returning to the Tour de France. His story of return from injury, illness and mental health has been one of the most inspiring stories.
Mark Cavendish said:
“I’d love to go to the Tour, of course I would. Ultimately we have Sam Bennett who won two stages last year and the green jersey. He’s the logical guy to take. He’s the sprint leader of the team. But I’m sure Sam will only go if he’s 100 per cent fit. Obviously there is a lot of pressure on him as the green jersey winner to perform. I’m sure he will do what’s best for the team. Sam is a pro. I just have to be ready in case I’m needed.”
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