Mark Cavendish tastes victory for first time in three years at Tour of Turkey

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PA Sport Staff
·2-min read
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Britain’s Mark Cavendish tasted victory for the first time in more than three years when he headed a bunch sprint across the line at the Tour of Turkey.

The 35-year-old Deceuninck-QuickStep rider timed his push to perfection to pass Jasper Philipsen and Andre Greipel in the the final 100m of stage two in Konya.

It was sprinter Cavendish’s 147th win, but his first since February 2018 at the Dubai Tour and came just months after he feared his career might be over before securing a return to his former team.

He said: “It’s an incredible feeling to cross the finishing line first, the first time in three years. We’re not in the Tour de France, that’s sure, but for me, for where I’ve been in the last years, just to get back close to a win is special, and to be able to win with the Wolfpack is a dream come true.”

Cavendish’s success followed a fourth-place finish in the opening stage on Sunday, and he leads the overall classification heading into stage three.

The long-awaited win came amid a run of good form after he finished third Scheldeprijs last week following his second at the GP Monsere.

An early break on the uplands of the Central Anatolian Plateau never looked likely to be decisive and the peloton reeled the remaining escapees in with around seven kilometres to go.

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Scheldeprijs winner Philipsen led out the sprint 200m from the line, but it was Cavendish who prevailed to end his barren run.

He said: “It’s incredible, it’s super nice and I never get tired of this feeling. Everyone on the team was incredibly committed today and that was very important.

“I knew after yesterday that I had the speed needed to win and I also knew that if I would be on Greipel’s wheel, I would have a shot coming into the last couple of hundred meters.

“Philipsen jumped early and had a small gap, but I had enough to make up ground and I must say I was quite surprised at how quickly I came in the final meters of the stage.”