Mark Cavendish is back to top-level form, the sprinter making it a hat-trick with three consecutive stage wins at the Tour of Turkey.
Stage 4 was marred by a late crash, however Cavendish managed to avoid the pile-up and sprint to the line to secure Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 800th World Tour win.
“It’s nice, and to be sincere, it’s irrelevant how many wins are in a row, it’s just nice to win again,” he said after the podium presentation.
“It’s great that the team believes in me and I’m grateful to them for that. At the beginning of the year all I wanted to do is win a race, and now I have done it three times. I’m proud to have racked up Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 800th victory, but to me the most important thing is that I’m part of this family, which is an honour.”
Tuesday: Manx Missile’ Mark Cavendish has enjoyed a second consecutive victory, the veteran sprinter taking out Stage 3 of the Tour of Turkey overnight. The win comes on the back of Cavendish’s Stage 2 result, his first stage victory in three years.
“My confidence is still coming back and today I had more than yesterday and knew I could fight again for the victory,” he said after the stage.
“The fact that I won again gives me a lot of confidence,” continued Cav.”Especially as it’s for the first time in five years or so that I’ve claimed back-to-back stages in a race. Doing it in the leader’s jersey makes it even more special. We’re happy and we’ll continue to enjoy ourselves here.”
Monday: Mark Cavendish has enjoyed a stunning sprint victory at Stage 2 of the Tour of Turkey, his first win in several years and the 147th of his career.
Planning the win to perfection, Cavendish went into the final corner of the stage in fifth wheel while waiting for the other sprinters to react. With just 50 meters to go he accelerated to pass riders including André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) to take his first victory in more than three years.
Not only taking the stage, Cavendish now wears the Tour of Turkey Leader’s Jersey.
“It’s incredible, it’s super nice and I never get tired of this feeling,” said the 35yo Manxman.
“I knew after yesterday that I had the speed needed to win and I also knew that if I would be on Greipel’s wheel, I would have a shot coming into the last couple of hundred meters,” he continued.
“Philipsen jumped early and had a small gap, but I had enough to make up ground and I must say I was quite surprised at how quickly I came in the final meters of the stage.”
Cavendish went on to thank Deceuninck – Quick-Step team owner Patrick Lefevere for giving him the opportunity to race with the Wolf pack in 2021.
“Patrick believed in me and I am so lucky to be here in this special team, in this family,” said Cav.
“Some people didn’t think I could get back to winning, but he did and for that I am grateful. Just to get back to winning after what I’ve been through in the last couple of years is truly incredible. To win again was emotional and to hug all my teammates after the finish was amazing.”