'Mark deserves this and is a great champion' - Cycling world reacts as Cavendish takes comeback victory

The British sprinter proved to be a popular winner on stage two of the Tour of Turkey

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish's comeback is complete, as the British sprinter took his first victory since 2018.

The Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider put in a vintage Cavendish performance on stage two of the eight-stage Tour of Turkey, beating prime sprinter Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and his old rival André Greipel.

While the victory was no doubt an emotional moment for the 35-year-old Manxman, the win also caused huge waves in the cycling world, as Cavendish's victory proved popular amongst pros, fans and cycling journalists.

This is how the cycling world reacted to Cavendish reaching the top step once again:

Speaking after the finish, Cavendish's team-mate Fabio Jakobsen, making his own comeback at the Tour of Turkey, said after the finish: "It's special to be back and to see Mark win here.

"Mark has fought for this for a long time and he is very motivated.

“I couldn't help much myself in the sprint preparation, but I did as much as I could. Mark deserves this and is a great champion. ”

British time triallist Alex Dowsett,  racing in Turkey as part of Greipel's Israel Start-Up Nation lead-out train, said: "If it couldn't be us, I'm very happy it was Mark Cavendish."

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Cavendish's new boss Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Deceuninck - Quick-Step, said: "I'm so proud that I believed in Mark, the old wolf."

Team DSM rider Coryn Rivera, former winner of the women's Tour of Flanders, said: "Cool and savvy sprint by Mark Cavendish.

"Once a champ, always a champ. Congrats man!"

Manxman Cavendish is currently racing for Lefevere under a one-year contract, having feared the premature end of his career last season.

Cavendish struggled to find a new team for 2021 after racing one season for Bahrain-McLaren.

The 35-year-old has struggled for results in recent seasons, having battled through illness with Epstein-Barr Virus and a number of injuries.

But he appeared to find new motivation after signing with Deceuninck, saying he hoped to win at least one race this season.

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After a promising start to the season with three podium finishes, Cavendish finally sprinted to first place on stage two of the Tour of Turkey.

It's not only the pros who were inspired by Cavendish's victory, as cycling journalists also paid tribute to the 30-time Tour de France winner.

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Commentator Anthony McCrossan said: "That's why he didn't deserve to end his career last season. Class is always there, he just needed time to recover. Great win."

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Carlton Kirby, who was commentating on Cavendish's win for Eurosport, said: "I may have got a little choked up at the end there.

"Wonderful result for the sport."