Mark Cavendish goes back through the years to record a stunning sprint win on the Baloise Belgium Tour … before belittling talk about a shock recall to the Tour de France at age 36 – just months after hinting at RETIREMENT
- Cycling legend Mark Cavendish hinted at retiring in late 2020
- Now he has found a new lease on life and has won the fifth stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour
- The victory caused Cavendish to be talked about and he will return to racing in the Tour de France
- He dampened the hopes of fans and his boss said his contract should have been negotiated
Mark Cavendish let fans invite him to a shock call-up for the Tour de France after scoring a stunning sprint win on the Baloise Belgium Tour.
The 36-year-old Manx missile had hinted at retirement in late 2020, but is now back with a bang and found incredible shape on Sunday afternoon.
After replacing the injured Sam Bennett with his team Deceuninck-QuickStep, the sprint king managed to take a memorable victory in the fifth stage of the race, showing exceptional speed in the final sprint.
Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the fifth stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour
Cavendish (right) dives onto the line to win the stage, producing a stunning performance at 36
The Manx rider sealed his win in dramatic style, given a brilliant lead by his teammate Michael Morkov before a bike launch on the line secured him victory ahead of Tim Merlier, Pascal Ackermann and Dylan Groenewegen.
Posting to Instagram right after the race, Cavendish said, “Done? Nah man, nowhere near .. Whaaaaa that was a nice win today @belgiumtour.
‘Absolute car of the guys from @deceuninck_quickstepteam who leave everyone on the road to deliver me to the sprint and keep @ remco.ev in the leader’s jersey. I’m so happy to finish 5 bad days with the team. ‘
Although there are still doubts about the fitness of Irishman Bennett, Cavendish was quick to quell speculation about his participation in cycling’s most famous race, which begins in just 12 days.
“We have to see,” Cavendish said in a post-race interview. ‘We have the current green jersey winner, Sam Bennett. I think it’s okay to see how it’s going before thinking about anything else. ‘
Cavendish entered the Tour of Belgium for the first time and the stage win was the 151st of his stellar career.
Cavendish (center) celebrates with Yves Lampaert (left) and Remco Evenepoel (right)
The Manx Missile celebrates on the podium after taking a rare stage victory in Beringen
If he wants to participate in the Tour in less than a fortnight, team manager Patrick Lefevere said that a renegotiation of his contract would be necessary first.
The former world champion joined the team in December after a season with Bahrain-McLaren.