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Cavendish equals Merckx's record of most stage wins at Tour de France

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Carcassonne (France), July 9 (IANS) Britain’s Mark Cavendish equalled the record for most stage wins at Tour de France after he won Stage 13 here on Friday. This was his 34th stage win — as many as former Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx has won — at the annual prestigious race.

“I haven’t realised. It is just like my first one. It was what I dreamed of as a kid and it is what I dream of now. I have worked so hard for it,” said Cavendish after the win.

“For a lot of the day it didn’t feel like it was going to happen. I was so on the limit. You saw that at the end slightly uphill,” added the 36-year-old.

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As many as 154 riders had started stage 13 in Nimes and towards the end, Cavendish prevailed in a close finish.

This was Cavendish’s fourth stage win this year but it was also the tightest of his victories. He has won Stage 4, 6 and 10 before this.

“I can’t even think about it. I am afraid I am so dead. The 220km in that heat, that wind and that final. I went deep there. I went so deep, the boys were incredible,” he said further.

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It is unlikely that anyone will break his record soon. Peter Sagan of Slovakia is next best among active riders with 12 stage wins while Andre Greipel has 11.

Stage 13 results

1. Mark Cavendish (Britain/Deceunick-Quick-Step) 5hrs 04mins 29secs

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2. Michael Morkov (Denmark/Deceunick-Quick-Step) Same time

3. Jasper Philipsen (Belgium/Alpecin-Fenix)

4. Ivan Garcia (Spain/Movistar)

5. Danny van Poppel (Netherlands/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert)

Overall leaders after Stage 13:

1. Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia/UAE Team Emirates) 52hrs 27mins 12secs

2. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/EF Education Nippo) + 5mins 18secs

3. Jonas Vingegaard (Denmark/Jumbo Visma) +5mins 32secs

4. Richard Carapaz (Ecuador/Ineos Grenadiers) +5mins 33secs

5. Ben O’Connor (Australia/AG2R Citroen) +5mins 58secs

–IANS

kh/bsk

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