Cavendish rubs shoulders with the best 987 days later

The Briton, who returned to Deceuninck this season at 35, finished second at the Monseré GP, his best performance in 987 days. He hasn't won since 2018.


When Mark Cavendish finished the Belgian tests last season in tears, giving his number to some rivals, and even saving some of them, it was sensed that the withdrawal of the British was very close. The possibility of seeing him compete in 2021, the year in which he turns 36, seemed complicated, and even more knowing that he would not continue in Bahrain. "It could have been my last race. I wanted to do this event and I love competing in Belgium. It is a pure race that makes me feel like a child again. I don't feel like stopping," he said after the Ghent-Wevelgem in October. However, everything changed in December.

The powerful Deceuninck announced his signing, to the surprise of squad mates and fans. The man from the Isle of Man returned to what was his home during the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, one of the most prolific stages of his sports career. In the ranks of the team led by Patrick Lefevere, Cavendish left an impressive 44 victories, eight of them in grand tours. Now it came with a long drought of triumphs, with numerous sprinters in the Belgian squad and, possibly, in the most powerful team for the classics. The challenge was to get back to being competitive, and little by little they are getting there.

The 2011 world champion has 30 victories in the Tour de France, 15 in the Giro d'Italia and 3 in the Tour of Spain. In total, 146 victories. The last one, on a stage of the Tour of Dubai on February 8, 2018. 1,123 days have already passed that, and until this Sunday at the Monseré Cavendish GP I had not been so close to winning again. Tim Merlier, from Alpecin, won the Belgian classic, continuing with his good results this season.Second, with no real chances of victory, it was Cavendish, who once again occupies the positions of honor in the volatas. He hadn't finished second (so close to winning) since the fifth stage of the Italian Ionica Race in 2018 ... 987 days ago. Little by little, and obviously far from the best sprinters, but one of the most important stars of this century dreams of raising his arms again.

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