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by Shane Stokes
July 28, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Cavendish still targeting Merckx record, also chasing Olympic gold in 2020; Dan Martin diagnosed with vertebral fractures; BMC Racing Tour de France team targets San Sebastian success; Tour de France runner-up Uran and Phinney confirmed for Colorado Classic; Lizzie Deignan, one year after whereabouts scandal; Professional riders’ association CPA votes to also represent female riders; Transcontinental Europe race begins on Friday, dedicated to Mike Hall; Car/cyclist ‘radar’ trialled in Adelaide; Video: Celebrating rider at GP of Beverly loses race victory and some skin
Still recovering from his bad crash in the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish has stated that he will keep racing for at least three more seasons in a bid to chase two long-term targets of his career.
One of those is landing an Olympic gold, something he narrowly missed out on last time around when he took second in the 2016 Omnium. “Before this year I wasn’t sure if this was my last contract,” he told The Times. “And then the Madison was announced and I thought, ‘Right I’m going to go to 2020’.”
His second big target is to break the all-time Tour de France stage win record held by Eddy Merckx. The Belgian has 34 successes, while Cavendish is on 30. While he went into this year’s Tour under-raced after a bout of Epstein-Barr virus, he was looking good prior to hitting the deck on stage four.
“The stage I crashed in, I’m still pretty confident I would have won it,” he said. “I believe I’m the best and I believe I will be for a fair few more years. It’s given me the confidence to keep going. People would argue that I only win sprint days so [Merckx’s] mountain days mean more,” Cavendish said. “That’s uneducated in my opinion, but a number is a number and it gives me a target. I’d almost run out of targets … and that’s a target I can realistically think about.”
Speaking in Paris on Sunday, Cavendish described the serious nature of his injury, and said that his career could be over if he didn’t allow it to fully heal. He told The Times he hopes to be back racing for the Tour of Britain, but that he questions if he can be competitive.
Click through to read more at The Times.