Mark Cavendish failed in his bid to set a new record of 35 stage wins in the Tour de France as Wout van Aert won the final stage of the 2021 Tour.
Cavendish struggled to find space and could not come past Van Aert in the final few metres of the bunch sprint on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
But the 36-year-old had already won four stages this year to equal the Tour record of 34 set by Eddy Merckx.
Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar of UAE-Team Emirates won the overall yellow jersey.
Despite his failure to take sole ownership of the stage wins record, to have drawn equal with Belgian legend Merckx is an astonishing achievement by Cavendish, who had struggled for form for several seasons and feared last year his career was over.
He was only called up by Deceuninck Quick-Step as a late replacement for injured Irish sprinter Sam Bennett.
But, a full five years after his previous Tour stage win, his sprinting dominance earned him his second Tour de France green jersey, awarded to the winner of the points classification.
More to follow.