The message from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has been clear for almost all of the 2022 season. Mark Cavendish would go to the Giro d’Italia and Fabio Jakobsen would go to the Tour de France. Cavendish took 1 stage victory at the Giro d’Italia but didn’t appear to be quite as strong as he did in last year’s Tour de France where he took 4 wins. A win on Sunday’s British national champion road race though has increased demand for the Manxman to make this year’s Tour de France.
Romantic fans see an opportunity, possibly the last, for Eddie Merckx’s long-standing Tour de France stage wins victory to finally be overtaken. After 4 stage wins taking Cavendish to equality with the super Belgian on 34 Tour de France stage wins, the stage was set for the record to be broken on the Champs Elysees. Wout van Aert spoiled that party, however, defending Belgian interests.
Cavendish’s second British road race title and the way he won it will certainly make his team take note. Not willing to settle for a sprint, he attacked and attacked, made the break and finished it off too. Team manager Patrick Lefevere is renowned for not being romantic and instead deeply pragmatic with his team selections. With no Julian Alaphilippe confirmed by Het Nieuwsblad this morning, British fans will be begging for Cavendish’s inclusion.
“I can at least show the reason I am not going on the Tour is not because I have got bad form, I am going so much better than last year and you know what happened last year (at the Tour).
I haven’t had a call from the team one way or another. I am trying to stay optimistic, I have trained as if I am going on the Tour. My condition is there, I am good enough to go on Tour, I know if I went I would win.”Mark Cavendish