Mark Cavendish growing in confidence after back-to-back wins at Tour of Turkey

ALANYA TURKEY APRIL 13 Podium Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Turquoise Leader Jersey Celebration during the 56th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 2021 Stage 3 a 2126km stage from Beyehir to Alanya Mask Banana Trophy Covid Safety Measures TUR2021 tourofturkeyTUR on April 13 2021 in Alanya Turkey Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
Mark Cavendish in the leader's jersey on the podium after winning stage 3 of the Tour of Turkey (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Mark Cavendish continued his winning ways on stage 3 of the Tour of Turkey in Alanya, describing how he was growing in confidence after making it two sprint victories in a row on Tuesday.

The Manxman, racing his 13th day for Deceuninck-QuickStep since returning to the team over the winter, jumped from the wheel of Alpecin-Fenix's Jasper Philipsen with 175 metres to go, moving round the outside of André Greipel's Israel Start-Up Nation lead-out to lead the way to the line in the race leader's turquoise jersey.

Cavendish, who extended his overall lead to eight seconds ahead of another sprint stage in Kemer on Wednesday, told of the trickiness of the run-in and final sprint in Alanya, with high winds and the road surface making it a challenging run to the line.

"You know it was one we tried to take on from the front today. It worked, but it was a difficult sprint to play," he said after the stage. "It was kind of uphill and then ran straight downhill on small cobblestones with the wind fully from the right bouncing off the buildings.

"It was a real messy one to get right and we knew once we took it up then it was a case of staying there and staying patient. The guys did an incredible job, a really incredible job to keep me there out of the wind."

Cavendish said that the win only adds to his confidence. Before heading to Turkey, he was looking for his first win since the 2018 Dubai Tour, having recently finished runner-up at the GP Monseré and opening stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali.

"I'm still coming back, you know?" he said. "I have more confidence today to know that I could do it more. I don't think it gives me as much confidence as I used to have, but it definitely gives me confidence in myself more than any kind of swagger really, I guess."

As well as Cavendish sprinting to win number two at the race, the stage also saw Fabio Jakobsen back at the front of a race for the first time since his crash at last year's Tour de Pologne. The Dutchman, making his comeback in Turkey, was involved in Deceuninck-QuickStep's lead-out in the final kilometres of the stage.

"We saw Fabio Jakobsen up there, the first time involved in a bunch sprint. So, so proud. He was leading out today and it makes me immensely proud," Cavendish said, adding that he could win a stage befeore the race ends in Kusadasi on Sunday.

"It'd be nice to get more stage wins for the team. We don't have anyone for GC but we have a collection of sprinters. Álvaro Hodeg is going really well, Shane Archbold was incredible in Settimana Coppi e Bartali and he's flying here. We want to see Fabio getting back in the mix and trying for a win. For sure if he goes for the sprint now, he can win it.

"If we can get a sprint win for all the different guys, that'd make me the most proud."

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