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Tour de Force: My history-making Tour de France By Mark Cavendish

Release date: 01st December, 2021
Publisher: Ebury Spotlight

List Price: 16.99
Our Price: 14.99
You Save: 2 (11%)
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At the 2013 Tour de France, your correspondent enjoyed a grandstand view of the closing stages of race stage ten, an almost straight line finish, adjacent to a sparkling English Channel, contested in glorious St Malo sunshine.

The atmosphere was electric; thousands of spectators, many of whom were on holiday, surged towards the barriers as the riders approached, the corresponding increase in noise levels cranked up to maximum.

As the peloton careered towards the line, a clutch of race leaders positioned themselves for what was certain to be a frantic, bunch-sprint finish as the decibel level rose another notch. Mark Cavendish looked well positioned and when some 150m from the line pounced for Marcel Vittel?s wheel, cutting across Tom Veelers, who went flying across the hot tarmac at more than 70kph.

Cavendish hesitated, looked back, but his chance of winning disappeared in a split second.

This most dramatic conclusion reaffirmed, once again, that Tour riders must be as brave as lions and as precise as a nuclear scientist?

Fast forward to October 2020 and in his latest book, Tour de Force, we discover Cavendish unattached to any Tour team, telling Patrick Lefevere, ?a one-man Michelin guide? that he will ride for Deceuninck-Quick Step for the ?minimum wage?. It?s not about the money, he tells Lefevere: ?put me in an environment where I have no excuses. I promise that I?ll win.?

Cavendish signed a one-year deal with the Belgian team, but did not expect to be their sprinter ? until eight days before the Tour began.

Reading Cavendish describe the closing stage of last summer?s Tour stage four rekindles fond memories of St Malo. Strength, bravery, precision timing, speed and tactical awareness got him over the line, this time as a winner, which unleashed a guttural roar, pumping fists and the almost inevitable tears. After all, it is Mark Cavendish.

Tour de Force is an absorbing book, its diary-style layout allowing readers to dip in and out without losing track of the story.

?Securing my legacy was the primary reason that I carried on racing this year [2021]. I knew I still had it in me,? writes the Manxman. During a fairytale summer, he equalled the record for Tour stage wins established by the great Eddie Merckx: thirty four in total. Furthermore, we will see him on French roads at least one more time in 2022 after he recently confirmed another tie-up with Patrick Lefevere.

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