Tuesday 29th June 2021 is a very special day for British sports fans, well of cycling and football certainly. It will live long in my mind that’s for sure.
In the evening, England progressed to the quarter finals of the Euros with a win against Germany, but earlier in the day, Stage 4 of the Tour de France was won in classic style by Mark Cavendish – to the astonishment of most viewers and pundits alike.
The much-loved rider from the Isle of Man has had some awful luck one way or another for some time and yet still held the belief that his story with the Tour de France, his favourite race, was not yet told.
Well, this is a lovely chapter! The finish line was approaching and it looked as though no sprint would happen; Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) held onto a gap into the last kilometre, until the peloton charged him down.
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) launched the sprint but Cavendish exploded past him and held on to take victory; the 31st Tour stage win of his career.
The emotion of the moment overwhelmed him, (and me!) as the tears flowed, he clasped and hugged his teammates one by one and then went round again!
At the start of the race, Cavendish needed five stages to pass Eddie Merckx record of 34 stage wins, so now it’s one down, four to go.
Whatever happens, his record even as it stands now, far outnumbers the stage wins of other sprinters of his generation, all of whom are phenomenal, but The Manx Missile really is the greatest of them all. To me… he’s a gem!
Make no mistake, the Manx Missile is back!
Have a great day! 🙂