The Isle of Man rider, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Sunday, has set himself the ultimate goal of winning a 35th stage victory in July in the Tour de France and thus breaking the record he currently shares with Belgian Eddy Merckx.

"This is my last Giro d'Italia and 2023 will be my last season," said the 2011 world champion with tremolos in his voice, surrounded by his wife and children in Coccaglio, Lombardy.

Also winner of Milan-San Remo in 2009, the former track cyclist has one of the best records in his sport: he has won a total of 161 victories in his career, 34 in the Tour of France, 16 in the Giro and 3 in the Vuelta, as well as the points classification on the three Grand Tours.

After the aborted project to sign with the B&B Hotels formation that disappeared for lack of finding a sponsor, Cavendish joined the Astana team this winter where his former teammate Alexander Vinokourov, now manager of the Kazakh team, reached out to him.

© Luca Bettini /

He has yet to raise his arms this season – his 17th in the peloton – but remains competitive as shown by his third place in the 11th stage of the Giro.

Two other figures in the peloton have already announced their retirement for the end of the season, Slovakian Peter Sagan and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot.

© 2023 AFP