The victory was Cavendish’s fourth stage win at this 12 months’s race. The Brit nonetheless has two alternatives to interrupt the record earlier than the race reaches Paris on July 18.
“The boys have been unbelievable, I can not consider it. I used to be so on the restrict ultimately,” mentioned Cavendish after the Tour’s stage 13, including no rider may very well be in comparison with Merckx.
“My dream as a child was to win one stage on the Tour de France and I labored so onerous for it. If any one among my wins can encourage youngsters to trip the Tour de France that is what means essentially the most to me.”
The win seemed in jeopardy with 36 kilometers to go when Cavendish suffered a flat tire, however he was in a position to rejoin the peloton and place himself for the victory.
The 36-year-old, whose first Tour stage win got here again in 2008, was a late add to the Deceuninck–Quick-Step workforce after its primary sprinter suffered an damage earlier than the beginning of the Tour.
Cavendish had hinted about retirement final 12 months after crashing out of the Tour in 2017 and ending outdoors the time restrict in his final participation in 2018.
There are nonetheless eight levels left within the Tour, six of which embody mountains the place Cavendish is just not anticipated to complete with the frontrunners. His first alternative to interrupt the record will come on subsequent Friday’s flat stage after the race passes the Pyrenees.
Merckx acquired the nickname of ‘The Cannibal’ as testomony to an unrelenting urge for food for victories.