The day after his 38th birthday, Mark Cavendish has announced he will retire from professional cycling at the end of the 2023 season.
Speaking at a press conference on the second rest day of the Giro d’Italia alongside his wife and children, an emotional Cavendish explained he will be calling time on an illustrious career.
“I’ve absolutely loved racing every kilometre of this race so far so I feel it’s the perfect time to say it’s my final Giro d’Italia and 2023 will be my final season as a professional cyclist,” the sprinter said.
“Cycling’s been my life for over 25 years. I’ve lived an absolute dream. The bike has given me the opportunity to see the world and meet incredible people, a lot of whom I’m proud to call friends. 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.”
While Cavendish went on to say that getting nearer to the end of his time as a professional cyclist has made it easier to savour the race days he still has remaining, he will be going to the Tour de France in search of a stage win. Regardless of the fact that one more victory would take him past Eddy Merckx as the rider with the most (35) Tour de France stage wins in history.
“When you understand it’s not forever, it’s easier to enjoy every feeling this sport has to offer,” he said.
“If I was on 45 wins on the Tour de France I’d still be going to the Tour de France to win. If I was on 18 I’d be looking for 19.”