Britain’s Mark Cavendish has already cemented himself in the history books as the most successful sprinter in professional cycling. After the 2015 Tour de France many however questioned whether his best days were behind him, after being outmatched by German rival Andre Greipel. Countryman Marcel Kittel was also anointed the fastest sprinter in the world, taken the title from Cavendish.
Despite the move to new team Dimension Data and the pairing with old team mates Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel, Cavendish was an outside bet for stage victories behind the likes of Greipel and Kittel. In the space of three days the assumptions about Cavendish from the cycling media and insiders were blown wide open, as the Brit has claimed both the pure sprinters stages in the race, even managing a career first by earning the leaders yellow jersey after winning the opening stage.
Cavendish has once again proved his doubters wrong, something he is surely used to after being questioned at various stages of his professional career. The ‘Manx Missile’ has already earned a major accolade this year with his day in the hallowed yellow jersey, can he do it again and win a gold medal in the upcoming Rio Olympics next month.
Mark Cavendish enjoying his day in the yellow jersey on stage 2 of this years Tour de France. Photo sourced from SkySports.com.
Much has been made about his track preparations this year, and many questioned whether it would hamper his road racing form going into the Tour. These worries and doubts have been blown away with his two stage wins already, with plenty of opportunities for Cavendish to add to his 2016 Tour tally.
After his success already in this years race Cav is now equal second with French hero and five time Tour winner Bernard Hinault on 28 stage wins, now only six behind all time leader and cycling’s best ever rider, Eddy Merckx. He will have plenty of opportunities to claim further victories, although the pressure is off the Isle of Man racer after already exceeding expectations in the opening days.
For fans of Mark Cavendish, the racing has already been thrilling. With a further two and a half weeks where he will have multiple further opportunities for stage victories, can he add to his impressive tally? Only time will tell.
Can Mark Cavendish claim further Tour de France stage victories this year? Let me know in the comments section and thank you for reading. Find me on Twitter @brfcjordan95.