Mark Cavendish will race at Scheldeprijs this week, after recently suggesting his career might be over.
The British sprinting superstar was emotional at the finish of Ghent-Wevelgem last weekend, suggesting that the Belgian Classic may have been the last race of his career.
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Bahrain-McLaren had previously announced that Cavendish would be racing both Ghent-Wevelgem and Scheldeprijs, but the team have now confirmed the 35-year-old will definitely race after his comments.
After spending most of Sunday’s Ghent-Wevelgem in the breakaway, Cavendish was in tears at the finish and told Dutch broadcast Sporza: “That’s perhaps the last race of my career that, I’m a bit…” he replies, his voice breaking up.
A reporter then asked if Cavendish really thinks it’s the last race of his career.
“Maybe, yeah…” was the response.
His emotional response sparked a huge outpouring of support for arguably the greatest sprinter ever, with his friend Sir Bradley Wiggins saying the 30-time Tour de France stage winner deserves a better retirement.
Cavendish is currently in contract talks for 2021 with Bahrain-McLaren, which is now run by his old mentor and coach Rod Ellingworth.
His comments sparked a lot of speculation about his potential retirement, but Cavendish is not done yet as he will race Scheldeprijs on Wednesday (October 14), having had plenty of success there in the past.
Cavendish made his Scheldeprijs debut in 2007, winning at his first attempt. He followed up with victories in 2008 and 2011, then finishing second in 2013 and 2016.
Scheldeprijs will take place with the route redesigned due to coronavirus restrictions, now featuring 10 laps of a 17.4km-long finishing circuit in Schoten.
The race has been dominated by the sprinters, with Marcel Kittel winning five out of six editions between 2012 and 2017, while the last two years it have been won by Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), who is still out due to injury.