“If He Didn’t Believe He Could,…He Would Have Stopped” – Mark Cavendish’s Coach on Being Confident About His Tour de France Success After 54 Grand Stage Victories

Published 12/08/2023, 2:09 AM EST

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Mark Cavendish had been almost on the verge of paying adieu to the world of professional cycling when he dedicated himself to trying his luck for one last time in the 35th Tour de France. As the British sprinting sensation prepares himself for his monumental quest in the 2024 event, his coach Vasilis Anastopoulos is confident about Cavendish’s prowess.

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The coach and sprinter duo looks forward to leaving an indelible mark on the cycling landscape where each pedal stroke would echo determination. As the cyclist promises to deliver a compelling chapter even after 54 stage victories in his illustrious career, the coach is hopeful that the cyclist to surpass the record shared with Eddy Merckx. 

Building a winning team to support Cavendish

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The coach runs high on confidence about Cavendish’s ability to accomplish the historic feat in the upcoming season. For the Tour de France, a strong team has been assembled by Astana Qazaqstan and the squad has adopted a strategic approach. They have recruited seasoned cyclists namely Davide Ballerini, Cees Bol, and Michael Mørkøv, and are hopeful of launching the best train in the world. 

via Reuters

In an interview with Global Cycling Network, Anastopoulos shed light on the confidence that Cavendish possesses stating, “He is a great champion, a great fighter. If he didn’t believe he could make history, he would have stopped racing.” Besides the cyclist’s athletic prowess, the composition of the team with Mark Renshaw as the sports director will escalate his performance.

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Hence, it is evident that the team rearrangement focuses on maximizing Cavendish’s sprinting prowess. The coach highlights the importance of teamwork and the need for experienced teammates that would propel Cavendish to expertly navigate through sprint stages and thereby deliver his best during the crucial final meters of the race. 

Strategy preparation to overcome the challenges that lie ahead

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The coach labels Cavendish as a “great champion” owing to his abilities, having potential to make history. The sprint decided to continue racing for another year which served as a testament to the conviction of the racer. He reiterated an instance from the previous year’s Tour de France when despite encountering mechanical issues, Cavendish secured a second-place finish in the challenging stage. Hence the coach garners faith in the sprinter’s form convinced enough to grab victory relying on his formidable competitive spirit. 

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Anastopoulos shared a glimpse about their strategy to pass through the rigorous cycling event this season, “The Tour de France stages are really difficult, so he has to be able to survive the long climbs and the long days, and have energy at the end of the stages. We will focus on improving his aerobic capacity and then his sprint capacity as much as possible during the season.” Following this strategy, Cavendish will be aiming to enhance his aerobic capacity, so that it would be easier for him to survive the challenging stages. 

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Besides just claiming the winner title in the Tour de France, 2024, the coach and Cavendish have set their sight on surpassing Eddy Merckx’s stage-win record. Hence it’s not just a goal but a collective mission for the duo promising a compelling narrative aiming for one final historic triumph.  

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Written by:

Soheli Tarafdar

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Hey there! I am on a wild ride as a Viral Sports Writer here at EssentiallySports! With a shiny masters in English under my belt, my academic journey has been a cornerstone for my evolution as a wordsmith. My heart always had a soft spot for creative writing, and my fascination with American sports just seemed like a perfect match. But one sport that makes my heart race like no other is Ice Hockey.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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