Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

January 27, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Navardauskas takes Bahrain-Merida inaugural win in San Juan TT; Greipel sprints to win in Challenge Mallorca opener; Kirsten Wild just pips Chloe Hosking in Race Melbourne photo finish; Sam Bennett sprints to victory at Race Melbourne, the Cadel’s Race curtain-raiser crit; Mark Cavendish: Merckx’s Tour de France record is now a realistic target for me; Cyclocross worlds preview: In Bieles, a new chapter will be written between the sport’s two young stars; French teams dominate wildcard selections for Tour de France, Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné; Retired pro cyclist Tom Zirbel shifts to triathlon; World Championship course proving to be a challenge; Former pro talks about battle with depression, suicide attempts; Vuelta a San Juan, stage 3 highlights; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour preview; Video: Tony Martin off to rocky start with Katusha-Alpecin.

Mark Cavendish: Merckx’s Tour de France record is now a realistic target for me

by VeloClub

Mark Cavendish has long shrugged off talk that he could equal or surpass Eddy Merckx’s all-time Tour de France stage win record but now, heading into the 2017 season, he has finally embraced that possibility. The British sprinter took four stage wins during last year’s Tour and may have netted a fifth had he not left the race early to prepare for the Olympic Games. His campaign also saw him take the yellow jersey for the first time in his career and returned him to the pinnacle of world sprinting.

Equally importantly, it increased his career tally of Tour stage wins to 30, just four off Merckx’s record of 34. That high water mark has long been a topic of conversation within the sport. However, perhaps because of the pressure involved, Cavendish himself tended to back away from any declarations that he would chase the record.

He’s now changed his mind.

“The record was really never on my mind before, but now it is. Realistically it is achievable,” he told CyclingTips in a long sit-down interview at the recent Team Dimension Data training camp. “I have heard about it so much that I may as well.

“Even the people around me, my team and that, talk about it now, which never happened before. It means it has to be a goal.”

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