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Will Mark Cavendish Make History at the Tour de France in 2023?

The turn of the year always brings the upcoming Tour de France into sharper focus with the symbolic countdown officially on. At least, being in the same year as the fabled showdown in France inspires fans to look ahead and begin discussing the various permutations that could play out over the 21 stages.

At the top of the list of talking points is whether Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard can defend the title he won in 2022. As things stand, Vingegaard has been given odds of 13/8 which is admittedly, a price that keeps the door open for another contender to come through the pack to claim the yellow jersey. Who knows, perhaps it could be Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel who rides into Paris as the eventual champion on Sunday the 23rd of July.

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Another outcome that will also be revealed in the summer is whether British rider Mark Cavendish will be able to break the record for most stage wins in the Tour de France. As things stand, Cavendish is equal on wins with Eddy Merckx after winning his 34th stage during the 2021 showpiece.

At the time, it seemed a certainty that Cavendish would surpass the Belgian’s total of stage wins but there would be a twist in the tale after the Brit was not selected for the Deceuninck-Quick-Step team during the 2022 Tour de France. Furthermore, following the conclusion of the Tour, Cavendish’s contract was not renewed by the team which left many wondering if the record that Merckx had set in 1975 would, in actual fact, ever be beaten.

However, in January 2023, cycling team Astana, an outfit based in Kazakhstan, handed the Brit a contract for the 2023 Tour de France which has kept his hopes alive of ending his career as the leading Tour stage winner.

Can Cavendish do it?
It should be said that it is now far from a certainty that Cavendish will break the record when you take into account that he is now 37, and has suffered from a string of injuries – the worst coming after crashing during the Ghent Six-Day event in 2021 which resulted in two broken ribs and a collapsed lung. In short, the Brit first needs to arrive at the Grand Depart on July 1st with a clean bill of health before any accurate predictions can be made.

Should he do so, however, then fans can expect Cavendish to do what he has always done in his glittering career; put his body on the line in order to get to the finish line first. The world will be watching to see if one of the modern-day greats can enjoy a final and historic swansong in France.




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