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Mark Cavendish: Marianne Vos is the absolute GOAT

MORTEGLIANO ITALY JULY 09 Marianne Vos of Netherlands and Jumbo Visma Team Purple Points Jersey celebrates at podium during the 32nd Giro dItalia Internazionale Femminile 2021 Stage 8 a 1294km stage from San Vendemiano to Mortegliano Flowers GiroDonne UCIWWT on July 09 2021 in Mortegliano Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) has congratulated Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) on her accomplishment of adding a 30th career Giro d'Italia Donne stage victory to her palmares on stage 7 on Thursday. The Manxman, who is just one stage win away from equalling Eddy Merckx's 34 stage wins at the Tour de France referred to Vos as the 'greatest of all time'.

"Until we finally have the privilege of Tour de France Femmes next year, the Giro d’Italia Donne is the greatest stage race for our female colleagues," Cavendish wrote in a post on Instagram.

"And Marianne Vos has just won her 30th stage of the race. This NEEDS to be big news. 30 is such a milestone. She’s been my inspiration on so many levels, for so many years. The absolute GOAT [greatest of all time]."

Vos won stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia Donne at Puegnago del Garda. The Dutch star followed the acceleration of Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) with one kilometre to go on the uphill finish and the pair distanced the rest of the field.

Vos then launched her sprint with 200 metres to go to take what was her 30th career victory at the Giro d'Italia Donne, while Longo Borghini took second and double World Champion and maglia rosa Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) finished third.

Vos is racing her 16th season in the professional peloton and as one of the best riders in the world in that time she has 12 world championship titles across three disciplines - road, cyclo-cross and track - along with two gold medals in road and track racing at the Olympic Games. 

Vos has also won three overall titles at the Giro d'Italia Donne - 2011, 2012 and 2014 - and holds the record for 30 stage victories won between 2007 and 2021, captured through sprints, climbs, breakaways and even a time trial.

While Vos is adding stage win counts to her record in Italy, Cavendish is currently competing at the Tour de France. He came into the race this year as a replacement after an injury ruled out last year's green jersey winner Sam Bennett. He had already won 30 stage wins from previous editions of the Tour de France, but he has added three more this year after taking wins on stage 4 in Fougères, stage 6 in Châteauroux, and stage 10 in Valence. He is one win shy of tying a Tour record held by Eddy Merckx.

A women's Tour de France has not existed since the original version ended in 1989. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme made a long-awaited confirmation that Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) will launch a women's Tour de France in 2022. 

Zwift announced that it will become the title sponsor of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift that will be held from July 24-31 in 2022, and begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in conjunction with the final stage 21 of the men's Tour de France.

Kirsten Frattini

Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.