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Mark Cavendish Sets New Tour de France Stage Wins Record

Mark Cavendish, 39, broke the Tour de France stage wins record. His 35th victory surpassed Eddy Merckx's long-standing mark. Cavendish sprinted to victory in Saint Vulbas, stage five.

Last year, a crash ended his race prematurely. This year, he delayed retirement to chase the record. Battling illness, injuries, and depression, Cavendish feared his career might end without this win.

In 2021, he returned to the Belgian Quick Step team, winning four stages. Despite being left out of the 2022 Tour and facing contract issues, he joined Astana Qazaqstan for 2023.

Tour race director Christian Prudhomme praised Cavendish, calling him the "yellow jersey of the sprinters." Former teammate Geraint Thomas expressed joy for Cavendish's solo record.

Stage five, a flat 177.4 km route, offered Cavendish his best chance. He and his team had prepared specifically for this stage. Despite a few crashes and near-misses, the race proceeded without serious injuries.

Cavendish's victory, his 165th career win, solidifies his place as the Tour's greatest stage winner.

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