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CUNEO, Italy (VN) – Following a Giro d’Italia rest day interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport in which he revealed he would like to continue racing for another two seasons, Mark Cavendish told VeloNews at the stage 13 start in San Remo that he’s still getting better as a racer and would like to stay with his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team if possible.
“I’d like to keep racing as long as I can still be competitive. I love riding my bike. I love racing and it’s a long life after retirement, isn’t it,” said the British rider with a smile.
After struggling with the debilitating effects of the Epstein Barr virus from the 2017 season and then suffering with injuries and depression, Cavendish made a fairytale comeback in 2021, winning four stages and the points title at the Tour de France last July.
He had said that 2022 would be his final season in the pro ranks, but believes that he’s still got the ability to add to his current total of 160 victories, the latest one coming on the third stage of the Giro in Balatonfüred.
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“I’m still getting better, I’ve stepped up even another level,” Cavendish affirmed. “I knew I’d be better this year than last year and I still feel that I’m moving forward again. I feel like I lost so many years. I’d forgotten what it was like to be moving forwards and now I am. Obviously, I’d love to be with Quick-Step, it would be my dream to stay here till I’m old enough not to win anymore.”
Speaking just a few hundred meters from the location of the finish line of Milan-San Remo, where, in 2009, he produced one of his most spectacular and memorable sprints to win the Italian Monument, Cavendish said he was happy to be back in the resort.
“I love it here in San Remo. Obviously I have beautiful memories of winning the race, but also of the races I didn’t win, and coming here is always special,” he said.
He also recalled a victory on that year’s Giro just along the Ligurian coast in Arenzano. “I won a stage not far away from here actually, and it’s lovely here this morning. There’s lots of people out, there’s lots of cyclists about. They love their cycling here.”
That was close!#Giro
— Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team (@qst_alphavinyl) May 20, 2022
Cavendish had said that the stage to Cuneo could come down to a sprint if the sprinters didn’t lose too much ground on the third-category climb of the Colle di Nava. After reeling in the four-man break within the final kilometer, the Briton was right in the mix once again, eventually edged out by Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious).
“It wasn’t an easy stage, and we had to make sure it would be a sprint at the end of the day. We had to get over the climb, to chase the breakaway, which had a good gap, and the guys were incredible in the work they did. They showed huge commitment, but also a lot of strength and determination, working hard the entire stage, more than it was in their job description,” said Cavendish.
“The finale was hard, and coming into the last kilometer I knew I was a bit far back, but I gave everything I had and did the best sprint I could. I’m proud of the boys and their amazing work today.”