It’s a milestone that appeared out of reach when he reached the end of 2020 without a win in almost three years and without a team for the following season. However, the Manxman was handed a lifeline at his former squad, Deceuninck-QuickStep, and he has resurrected his career at 35 years of age.
It’s a career in which the kind of strike rate he produced in Turkey was standard procedure for so long, and we've captured the main moments in the gallery above.
In his first full season as a professional, with T-Mobile in 2007, Cavendish won 11 times, including Scheldeprijs, often dubbed the World Championships for sprinters.
He won 17 times the following year, winning Scheldeprijs again before taking the first of many Grand Tour stage wins – two at the Giro d’Italia and four at the Tour de France.
The win count continued to rise in 2009 as he reached a mammoth 23, six of which came during a completely dominant run at the Tour de France. He also won three more at the Giro and claimed a Monument title with a thrilling last-ditch sprint at Milan-San Remo.
The win rate then dropped a little from those early heights but no one can question the quality: Five stage wins apiece at the 2010 and 2011 Tours, three at the 2010 Vuelta, and two at the 2011 Giro. The crowning, glory, however, was the World Championships victory in Copenhagen in 2011.
Cavendish would wear the rainbow jersey with Team Sky in 2012 after the T-Mobile/HighRoad team folded, and he won three stages apiece at the Giro and Tour. However, he didn’t appear to fit seamlessly into the GC-oriented squad and joined QuickStep in 2013.
He won 44 races in the space of three years with the Belgian squad, including five Giro wins and the British national title in his debut year. However, success at the Tour stopped flowing so freely, partly due to the emergence of Marcel Kittel, who made Cavendish no longer feel "unbeatable". Cavendish won two stages in 2013 and one in 2015, but crashed out on the opening day of the 2014 race on home soil in Yorkshire.
Cavendish then left QuickStep to join Dimension Data, previously a second-division outfit. Many questioned the transfer but 2016 turned out to be one of the best years of his career. He returned to Tour de France dominance, winning four stages, but combined it with the track, winning a Madison world title in the spring and then the placing runner-up in the Omnium in Rio – claiming that elusive Olympic medal.
However, that’s when Cavendish’s career started to stall. He contracted Epstein Barr Virus over the winter and spent the best part of three years struggling to train and race as the virus returned. He won a stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour in 2017 and the Dubai Tour in 2018, and then nothing until this past week in 2021.
After this resurgence and the milestone of 150 wins, the big question now is: how many more?
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.
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