On Monday 22nd May 2023, on the second Rest Day at the 2023 Giro d’Italia, Mark Cavendish announced his retirement from professional cycling.
He will be retiring at the end of the 2023 season, after a career that has spanned over 20 years.
Mark Simon Cavendish MBE is a British professional road racing cyclist from the Isle of Man who rides for UCI World Team Astana Qazaqstan Team.
As a track cyclist he specialises in the Madison, points race, and scratch race disciplines; as a road racer he is a sprinter.
Cavendish is one of the most decorated sprinters in cycling history, with 34 Tour de France stage wins to his name. He is also a former world champion and Olympic medallist.
He said that he was retiring to spend more time with his family and to pursue other interests.
Cavendish is a true legend of the sport, and his retirement is a major loss to the sport of cycling; being one of the most exciting and entertaining riders to watch.
He can look back on his career with great pride, knowing that he was one of the greatest sprinters of all time.
Here are just some of Cavendish’s career highlights:
· 34 x Tour de France stage wins (joint record with Eddy Merckx)
· 1 x World Championship title (2011)
· 2 x National Championship title (2013 & 2022)
· 2 x Olympic medals (1 silver, 1 bronze)
· 3 x Track World Championship titles – Madison (2005, 2008 & 2016)
· 166 career victories
He is widely considered one of the greatest road sprinters of all time, and in 2021 was called “the greatest sprinter in the history of the Tour and of cycling” by Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France.
Cavendish turned professional in 2005, and achieved eleven wins in his first professional season. He has won 34 Tour de France stages, tying him for first on the all-time list with Eddy Merckx, contributing to a third-highest total of fifty-three Grand Tour stage victories.
He won the Men’s Road Race at the 2011 Road World Championships, becoming the second male British rider to do so after Tom Simpson.
He has also won the UK National Championship title twice, in 2013 and 2022.
Cavendish has also won the points classification in all three of the grand tours: the 2010 Vuelta a España, the 2011, and 2021 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
For Cavendish’s last ever Giro – he won the final stage to make his score 17 Individual Stage Wins and 2 Team Time Trials wins.
The Tour de France beckons and kicks off on Saturday 1st July from Bilbao in Spain.
In the first week, there are 3 flat stages. With just 1 in the second week and 2 in the final week, including the last stage on the Champs Elysees.
Cavendish only needs one more win to take the record for the most stage wins at the Tour de France.
Everybody who supports Pro Cycling wishes him all the best for the record and for his future retirement.
Yes, Mark Cavendish will be missed by fans and the cycling community alike. He was one of the most exciting and entertaining riders to watch, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest sprinters of all time.
Cavendish was a master of the bunch sprint, and he was always a threat to win. He was also a very popular rider, and he was known for his charisma and his sense of humour.
Cavendish’s retirement is a major loss to the sport of cycling. He was a true legend of the sport, and his retirement is a sad day for cycling. However, he can look back on his career with great pride, knowing that he was one of the greatest sprinters of all time.
We wish Mark well in his retirement.
Update – 21 June 2023
It has just been announced that Mark Cavendish’s former leadout man – Mark Renshaw is to join the Astana-Qazaqstan team as a sprint and leadout consultant for the 2023 Tour de France, as part of the Manx Missile’s bid to make history with a 35th stage win.
Renshaw led Cavendish to many of his famous wins, including helping him to six in 2009, when they both rode for Colombia-HTC.
Update – Sunday 9 July 2023
Mark Cavendish crashed on Stage 8 of the Tour de France on July 8, 2023. And has had to retire from the 2023 Tour de France.
He was in the peloton with about 60 kilometers to go when he collided with another rider and went down.
He was immediately attended to by medical staff and taken to the hospital, where it was confirmed that he had broken his collarbone. And loosened a pin that was already in his collarbone, from a previous crash.
His crash ended his hopes of winning a record-breaking 35th stage at the Tour de France. He had equaled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins in 2021.
Cavendish announced his retirement from professional cycling in May 2023, so the crash on Stage 8 came just a few weeks before the end of his career.
However, his Team – Astana-Qazaqstan, have announced that if the Manxman wants to try for that elusive 35th win, they will offer him a 12 month extension to his contract, so that he can try for the win during the 2024 Tour de France.