• Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

No number 35: Mark Cavendish to miss 2022 Tour de France

Warminsterwobble – No number 35: Mark Cavendish to miss 2022 Tour de France According to his Dutch teammate, the Manx Missile will not get the chance to break Eddy Merckx’s stage record.

Mark Cavendish will not get the opportunity to try to win 35 stages at the 2022 Tour de France according to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammate Fabio Jakobsen.

In an interview with cycling news website Wielerflits, Jakobsen revealed that he will take up the role of their fastest man at the Tour, and Cavendish will race the Giro d’Italia instead.

‘He knows that the Tour is my goal and that he will ride the Giro himself’, the Dutch speedster told Wielerflits. ‘But he is ready as a reserve. He can do that like no other. And I think he’s happy with that role.’

Asked if he felt guilty about the situation, Jakobsen said: ‘Guilty isn’t the right word. Because I think I deserve it too. And if I’m not good enough, I don’t go. But you have to make a schedule and I will ride there in the spring and the Tour.’

‘The Tour is the highest achievement in our sport for a sprinter, apart from the world championships and Milano-San Remo, as a monument. I am very motivated.’

Cavendish won the green jersey and four stages of the 2021 Tour, equalling Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins at the race, but, if the plan goes ahead, the Manx Missile will be denied a chance to break this historic record.

Cavendish’s 2021 comeback has been seen as one of the most epic in cycling history.

Before his extraordinary comeback, he had struggled for results for four years after being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus in 2017 and clinical depression in 2018. Cavendish hadn’t claimed a Tour stage for five years; hadn’t even started the past two editions of the race.

If Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s plan does go ahead as Jakobsen says, it will be the 25-year-old’s Tour debut and another notch in his major comeback since a horrific crash at the 2020 Tour of Poland after which he was placed into a medically induced coma.

The 2022 Tour de France starts in Copenhagen on 1 July and while it doesn’t offer a huge number of sprints, there’s no doubt that it’s a great opportunity for Jakobsen and he will have big boots to fill.

Image credits: Chris Auld and Graham Watson

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