Mark Cavendish has outlined his intention to retire from cycling at the end of this season, but his Astana Qazaqstan team want the Briton to continue in 2024; Cavendish is out of this year’s Tour de France after crashing and breaking his collarbone on Saturday
Last Updated: 09/07/23 11:25am
Cavendish suffered a broken collarbone when he crashed on Saturday
Injured Mark Cavendish could get another opportunity to break the record for Tour de France stage wins after being offered a contract extension by Astana Qazaqstan.
The British cyclist’s hopes of surpassing the record of 34 victories – which he currently shares with Belgian legend Eddy Merckx – appeared at an end when he crashed out of this year’s race and suffered a broken collarbone on Saturday.
Cavendish, who is the world’s most decorated sprinter, had previously made it clear that he intended to retire at the end of this season and the 2023 Tour would therefore to be the last of his career.
However, Astana Qazaqstan general manager Alexander Vinokourov – an Olympic gold medallist at London 2012 – says the team want to give the 38-year-old another opportunity to overtake Merckx next year.
Cavendish holds the joint record for Tour stage wins with 34
“We want Mark to go on to 2024 and race his 15th Tour de France to win his 35th stage,” Vinokourov told L’Equipe.
“I myself suffered a fractured femur in 2011 on the Tour and it was supposed to be my last year but I didn’t want to stop just like that.
“I stayed on and fought hard to win the Olympic Games in London the following year. Mark has the same mentality and the same determination to achieve his ultimate goal.
Former world champion and Olympic medallist Mark Cavendish has announced he will retire from cycling at the end of the 2023 season.
“We’re ready to give him that opportunity. But it’s up to him.”
Cavendish, who has accumulated 161 victories in his 17-year professional career, came tantalisingly close to breaking the record on Friday when he was edged out by Jasper Philipsen in a sprint to the line.
The following day, his Tour ended in heartbreaking fashion when he crashed in the peloton approximately 60m from the finish of stage eight from Libourne to Limoges and was taken to hospital.