22nd May 2023 – (London) British cyclist Mark Cavendish has announced that he will retire from professional cycling at the end of the season. Cavendish, who has won 161 victories during his 17-year career, including 34 at the Tour de France to equal the record of Belgian great Eddy Merckx, made the announcement during a press conference organised by his Astana-Qazagstan team during the rest day at the Giro d’Italia in Coccaglio.
Cavendish, who turned 38 the day before the announcement, said, “I’ve absolutely loved racing every kilometre of this race so far, so I feel it’s the perfect time to say its my final Giro d’Italia and 2023 will be my final season as a professional cyclist.”
Cavendish, also known as the Manx Missile, earned his nickname thanks to his explosive ability to win bunch sprints. During his career, he has won a total of 53 Grand Tour stage wins and claimed the road world title in 2011. He also won an individual silver medal on the track at the 2016 Rio Olympics and claimed three career world titles on the track in the Madison discipline.
Cavendish enjoyed a remarkable return to form in 2021 after significant cycling injuries and illness. He matched Merckx’s record by winning stage 13 of the Tour de France, his fourthvictory in that year’s edition. Despite nearing the end of his career, he is expected to ride in this year’s Tour de France.
Cavendish’s announcement marks the end of an era for British cycling. He has been one of the most successful and popular riders of his generation, and his achievements have inspired a new generation of cyclists in the UK.
Cavendish’s career has not been without controversy, however. He has been involved in several high-profile incidents, including a collision with Dutch cyclist Tom Veelers in the 2013 Tour de France, which resulted in Veelers crashing to the ground. Cavendish was heavily criticised for his actions, but later apologised for the incident.