‘I truly believe that I am the best sprinter on the planet,’ says Cavendish

With 30 Tour de France stage wins to his name, Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) is just four behind record holder Eddy Merckx.

Despite a plethora of opportunities this year in one of the more sprinter-friendly routes in recent memory, the Manxman is unlikely to topple the Cannibal’s mark in 2017 as he continues to recover from Epstein-Barr virus that has stalled his season.

“I truly believe that I am the best sprinter on the planet,” Cavendish told The Times in an interview published Thursday. “Without this illness, I would be going in looking to pass the record this year.”


Cavendish added four wins to his total last July, but it was a season of accomplishments that may have broken down his body to the point that made him susceptible to the virus.

In 2016 he won a world championship on the track in March, won his four stages and wore yellow at the Tour in July, took silver on the track at the Olympics and finished second to Peter Sagan in the world championship in October. Cavendish admits it was a lot to bite off in one season.

“My team manager, Rolf Aldag, even said at the time, ‘You are going to be cooked next year.’ ” Cavendish told The Times. “But I went for it. It’s just now I am paying the price.”

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