Mark Cavendish: The fire within

British Mark Cavendish of Deceuninck - Quick-Step pictured during the first rest day during the 108th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 144,9km from Cluses to Tignes, France, Monday 05 July 2021. This year's Tour de France takes place from 26 June to 18 July 2021. BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN (Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France, where he won four stages (Image credit: David Stockman/Belga/AFP via Getty Images)

Everybody assumed Mark Cavendish was finished as a top-level sprinter after four very difficult seasons. Everybody, that is, except Cavendish himself. His extraordinary comeback to win four Tour de France stages was one of the defining stories of 2021. He tells Procycling how he did it.

Most, if not all cycling fans must have watched the steady cooling of Mark Cavendish's sprinting career over the last four or five seasons and concluded that the days of Tour de France stage wins were long gone. Cavendish has famously never been a 'numbers' guy, which is just as well for him, because the numbers told the story starkly: one win in 2017; one in 2018; none in 2019 and 2020.

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