[Mark Cavendish will ride one more Tour de France: ‘It’s not over yet’, team confirms
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Mark Cavendish has signed a new contract with Astana Qazaqstan and will ride on in 2024 with the aim of bettering the Tour de France stage win record of 34 – which he currently shares with Eddy Merckx.
The legendary British sprinter had initially announced during the 2023 Giro d’Italia that he would call time on his career at the end of the current season. However, having crashed out of the 2023 Tour de France, it was today confirmed that he will postpone retirement with the possibility of taking the stage win record still in front of him.
“It’s not over yet,” read a caption Astana Qazaqstan shared on social media along with a video montage of Cavendish at the Tour de France – before later confirming that the 38-year-old will ride on.
“Obviously, crashing out of the Tour de France was not a finish of my career I hoped for. But it is what it is,” Cavendish said in a statement shared by the team. “Together with Astana Qazaqstan, we grew incredibly as a team this year and it felt like a real family.
“So, the first thing Alexandr Vinokurov said to me there at the Tour de France after my crash was ‘why not do another year?’. Well, my first reaction was ‘no, no’. I was not ready to change my decision, I was in peace with it… Then, I discussed it with my family, my kids and I got their answer: ‘you should carry on, well, just one more year’.
“So, now I believe I am ready for this another year as a professional rider, and I am happy I can do it and finish it with Astana Qazaqstan Team. I love this team and even beyond the next year I’d like to do something more for this project. However, this is a question of the future.”
Earlier this summer Cavendish was within touching distance of becoming the record holder for the most stage wins.
Cavendish proved he still has the speed to match the likes of Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen – who won four stages and the green points jersey. The Manxman came close to a win on stage seven, but took second behind Philipsen, later saying that he was “frustrated” following a late mechanical issue in the final metres.