Marcel Kittel: ‘I believe in Mark Cavendish'

The 14 time Tour de France stage winner backs Manxman to grab record breaking 35th stage win in the coming days

Mark Cavendish on the eve of the Tour de France 2023
(Image credit: David Ramos / Getty)

Marcel Kittel - a winner of 14 Tour de France stages - believes Mark Cavendish will grab what will be a record breaking 35th stage win at the Tour in the sprint stages still to come.

Cavendish was involved in the thick of the action at the sharp end of the race on both stages three and four. The Manxman missed out to Jasper Philipsen in Bayonne on stage three before Philipsen won again in Nogaro on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly in Dax prior to stage four, Kittel explained that he believes Cavendish will break the record in one of the remaining sprint opportunities..

“That's the million dollar question,” Kittel said. “I believe in him because what I saw yesterday [stage three] was a strong Cavendish. He was almost alone in the last kilometres and he still kept his position and ended up with a good result but it's always challenging. I mean, he has to surf on wheels and use his kick in the final and it's so hard.

“You need to invest a lot of energy. So I hope he has this kick still left when it's really necessary.”

Prior to the French Grand Tour getting underway, Astana acquired the services of the Manxman’s former teammate Mark Renshaw as a coach for the race.

Kittel told CW that he had not considered the possibility of similar work to Renshaw and that he was “very happy” being on the outside of the racing itself.

“No, I've never pushed for that,” he said. “I'm happy where I am now looking from the other side and celebrating them [former teammates] and cheering for them.”

Jasper Philipsen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.