British cycling legend Mark Cavendish has announced he will retire from the sport at the end of 2023.
The 38-year-old is considered one of Britain’s most successful cyclists, having equalled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage victories in 2021.
Cavendish won 161 races in almost two decades as a professional cyclist, became world champion on the road in 2011 and claimed silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
‘Cycling has been my life for over 25 years. I’ve lived a dream,’ Cavendish said at a news conference at the Giro d’Italia.
‘It’s taught me so much about life, dedication, loyalty, sacrifice and perseverance – all important things to pass on now as a father.
‘The bike has given me the opportunity to see the world and meet fantastic people. I love the sport more than you can even imagine and I can’t see myself going too far from it, that’s for sure.
‘When you understand it’s not forever, it’s easier to enjoy every feeling this sport has to offer.
‘Today is my son Casper’s fifth birthday, fortunately it’s a rest day and I can spend his birthday with him. I think it’s important now that I can be there for every birthday for my wife Peta and all our children.
‘It’s important I can see all their school concerts and support them in their sporting competitions and it’s important I can run around with them without fear of injury or getting sick.’
Cavendish is currently riding for Astana Qazaqstan and will likely have one more go at the Toure de France this summer as he bids to surpass the legendary Merckx.
British Cycling performance director Stephen Park, meanwhile, congratulated Cavendish on a ‘truly outstanding career’.
‘Cav is without doubt the sport’s greatest sprinter and will be remembered by fans across the world for his 53 grand tour stage wins, and I’m sure that we will all be cheering him on as he looks to add to that total in his final months of racing,’ he said.
‘From a Great Britain Cycling Team perspective, we have seen him win rainbow jerseys on both the road and the track, a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games, and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year title in 2011.
‘What most stands out in Cav as a sportsperson is the overwhelming sense of pride he showed each time he pulled on both the Great Britain Cycling Team and British national champion’s jerseys – a quality we want to instil in every single member of our team.
‘Professional and passionate, Cav has been a real asset to our team over the years and will be remembered as both a peerless rider and a fantastic teammate with time for everyone.
‘We wish him the very best of luck both for the rest of his final season in the peloton and in the next stage of his career.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Source: Read Full Article