With five days remaining to the start of the Tour de France Deceuninck-Quick Step announced their roster for the upcoming Grand Tour, and despite conflicting reports, Mark Cavendish has been selected as the team’s sprinter.
The question was whether or not Sam Bennett or Cavendish would be racing in France, with Bennett recently sustaining a knee injury. According to reports Bennett has not been responding to treatments, so the team made the call to send Cavendish to France instead of the 2020 green jersey winner.
Bennett was originally the top pick to take on the Tour de France in 2021. The Irishman has been one of the top sprinters in the sport for the last couple years, notching two stage wins at the Tour de France in 2020. Bennett’s 2021 results include a win at the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, two stage wins at Paris-Nice, two stages at UAE Tour, and two stages at Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta.
Cavendish first started finding his winning legs in 2021 at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey with three back to back stage wins and the final stage to boot.
The last Tour de France participation for Cavendish was in 2018 when he didn’t make it to Paris after finishing outside the time limit on stage 11. His last stage win at the Tour de France was in 2016 when he won stages 1, 3, 6, and 14.
With Cavendish taking part in the 2021 Tour de France he has a shot at edging closer to Eddy Merckx’s all-time record stage wins.