'I don’t think I can ever be compared to the great Eddy Merckx': Cavendish opens up about equalling Tour de France record

Standing above all stats and records is Cavendish's love and respect for the sport

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty)

"I don’t think I can ever be compared to the great Eddy Merckx, the greatest male road cyclist of all time, but I think to equal the number of stage victories...and I think for someone who doesn’t follow cycling a lot, it’s something they can put into perspective. For the people who don’t really follow cycling, if it can inspire them to get on a bike, if a British rider has done that, that’s the biggest thing I can take from it I guess."

Finally, a proper answer to the Merckx question that has followed Cavendish around all Tour de France. The sprinter rightly pointed out that he's not been allowed to savour each of the first three victories in this race as he thundered towards number 34. In his flash interview straight after the stage, Cavendish said it was more applicable to compare him with André Darrigade, who won his 22 Tour stages in bunch sprints, rather than Merckx's dominance over mountains, against the clock and in sprints. In some ways, this milestone was just another reminder that Mark Cavendish is the greatest sprinter in Tour de France history.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.