Mark Cavendish’s Attempt to Set Tour de France Record Ends in Crash

by Lucas Garcia
Tour de France crash

Mark Cavendish will not be able to claim sole possession of the record for the most career stage wins at the Tour de France.

In what was set to be his last season competing, the esteemed sprinter was unable to finish the race after crashing during the eighth stage on Saturday. According to his team, Cavendish broke his right collarbone and will require surgery.

Cavendish had managed to equal Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins in the 2021 Tour, a full 13 years after his first victory. However, he was not selected to participate last year.


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Cavendish had hoped to make this year’s Tour his opportunity to set the outright record, having announced his retirement from cycling in May during the Giro d’Italia. He had ended the Giro on a high note, winning the final stage in Rome’s historic center, bringing his tally to 17 stage wins at the Italian Grand Tour.

Cavendish, known as “The Manx Missile” due to his Isle of Man roots, finished second in Friday’s seventh stage.

During the eighth stage, the 38-year-old former world champion crashed with 64 kilometers remaining, whilst trailing the peloton at approximately 45 kph (28 mph). The broadcast displayed the seasoned cyclist on the ground, clutching his right shoulder in agony.

Gianni Moscon, Cavendish’s teammate, reported that a sudden brake and change in direction by a cyclist ahead caused Cavendish to hit the rear wheel of another rider and fall.

“It was a severe crash,” Mosconi expressed. “I remained with him, but he was unable to continue racing, forcing us to rejoin the peloton.”

After receiving initial treatment in an ambulance, a visibly shocked Cavendish was forced to withdraw from the race.

Philippe Maertens, the public relations manager for Astana-Qazaqstan, informed The Big Big News that Cavendish was being treated in a hospital in Perigueux. He revealed that a screw inserted during the 2017 Tour to mend a scapula injury had become dislodged due to the recent crash. Cavendish is anticipated to return home shortly, Maertens added.

Merckx earned his victories in the 1960s and 70s, an era he dominated to such an extent that he was dubbed “The Cannibal.” Unlike Merckx, who won an unprecedented five Tours, Cavendish has not won the overall race, instead excelling in the sprints.

His speed, skill, and enduring success among his sprinting peers are unparalleled in the Tour.

“It’s deeply unfortunate for a legend to end the Tour this way,” said Mads Pedersen, former world champion and winner of Saturday’s stage. “It was an honor to race alongside Mark Cavendish. I have always enjoyed a good rapport with him in the peloton. I hope to join some of his last races.”

Cavendish is the fifth rider to withdraw this year, following Enric Mas, Richard Carapaz, Jacopo Guarnieri, and Luis Leon Sanchez, all due to crashes. The count increased to six after Belgian cyclist Steff Cras was involved in a further crash and forced to retire.

After being overlooked for last year’s Tour by his former Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team, Cavendish joined Astana-Qazaqstan in January for one last season, hoping to notch at least one more stage win.

Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Spanish Vuelta — and Cavendish was crowned world champion in 2011.

“Such a pity. We were all hoping to see him achieve one more victory,” said two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogacar.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mark Cavendish’s Crash

Q: What happened to Mark Cavendish during the Tour de France?

A: Mark Cavendish crashed during the eighth stage of the Tour de France, resulting in a broken collarbone and the end of his race.

Q: How many stage wins did Mark Cavendish have at the Tour de France?

A: Mark Cavendish had equaled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins at the Tour de France during the 2021 edition.

Q: Why was this edition of the Tour de France important for Mark Cavendish?

A: This edition was significant for Mark Cavendish because it was his last chance to become the outright record-holder for the most career stage wins at the Tour de France before his retirement.

Q: What was the nickname given to Mark Cavendish?

A: Mark Cavendish was known as “The Manx Missile” due to his origins from the Isle of Man and his exceptional speed as a sprinter.

Q: Did Mark Cavendish win the Tour de France overall?

A: No, Mark Cavendish specialized in sprints and stage wins, but he has never won the Tour de France overall.

More about Mark Cavendish’s Crash

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TourDeFranceFanatic July 9, 2023 - 12:00 am

can’t believe cavendish didn’t get selected last year. he’s got serious skills on the bike. hope he recovers quickly from his injury.

VelocipedeKing July 9, 2023 - 8:05 am

“The Manx Missile” strikes again… but not in a good way. sucks that he had to retire after that crash. he’s a legend in the cycling world.

CyclingFan23 July 9, 2023 - 9:04 am

omg! cavendish had 34 wins just like eddy merckx? that’s crazee! too bad he couldn’t win the whole tour tho. he’s such a fast sprinter.


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