Cavendish breaks record for most Tour de France stage wins with his 35th victory

The veteran Isle of Man sprinter broke Eddy Merckx’s long-standing record for most career Tour de France stage wins on Wednesday by winning a record 35th stage at the age of 39.

Briton Cavendish beat Eddy Merckx's mark, which had stood since 1975, on the fifth stage of this year's Tour near the Alps having equalled it in 2021.

"It's my 15th Tour de France and it takes a lot to get here, getting in shape every year," Cavendish said at the line.

"I'm surrounded by incredible people and I owe a lot to them" added Cavendish who made his Tour debut in 2008 before becoming world road race champion three years later.

As the peloton swept through the lush Rhone valley with vineyards and pretty villages skirting the river his Astana team hogged the front right of the peloton as light rain fell.

A long home straight in the tiny village of Saint-Vulbas helped them form a leadout train the 'Manx Missile' mastered as he powered across the finish line well ahead of Belgian Jasper Philipsen, last year's sprint points green jersey winner.

Race leader and two-time former winner Tadej Pogacar almost hit a traffic island causing a wave of movement and a pile up of bikes and bodies behind him.

But the Slovenian preferred to focus on Cavendish after the race.

"I used to watch him on television and we loved him," Pogacar said.

"Just back there I saw him and he said hey, don't you go breaking my record," he jokingly added.

Pogacar is 25-years-old and has 12 stage wins already.

Cavendish took a moment to congratulate the Eritrean sprinter.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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