Teams & Riders Mark Cavendish Discussion Thread

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Why would there be fewer now than a week ago?
After years of illness and struggle, long after anyone bar perhaps his close family thought he had anything left to give, a great champion has come back to win four stages of the Tour de France so far and equalled Eddie Merckx Tour stage record. I think that counts as a pretty significant addition to his career. And yes, I agree with those who say that this is weak competition, but all of the great sprinters took important wins against stronger and weaker fields over a career and doing it again at this point in his career arc in the biggest race in the world is meaningful.
 
After years of illness and struggle, long after anyone bar perhaps his close family thought he had anything left to give, a great champion has come back to win four stages of the Tour de France so far and equalled Eddie Merckx Tour stage record. I think that counts as a pretty significant addition to his career. And yes, I agree with those who say that this is weak competition, but all of the great sprinters took important wins against stronger and weaker fields over a career and doing it again at this point in his career arc in the biggest race in the world is meaningful.
I think it also comes down to how much you like the person for valuing the wins. I could care less if Cav is beating amateurs or Kittel, Greipel, Ewan, Bennett, etc. as long as he is winning. Same with Contador, Schlecks, etc. Obviously those wins are against stronger opponents but a win is a win and it don’t matter if by an inch or a mile.
 
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He could also do the Copenhagen Six Three Day Event.

I hope he's doing the Tour of Denmark. If it's not on his schedule, I shall personally channel my inner BlueRoads, and bring him here!
Yes, regarding the Copenhagen event. I saw there was no Six on the calendar but missed the three day event. Would be great for a Morkov-Cavendish team, if Morkov isn't already contracted to ride with someone else.
 
After years of illness and struggle, long after anyone bar perhaps his close family thought he had anything left to give, a great champion has come back to win four stages of the Tour de France so far and equalled Eddie Merckx Tour stage record. I think that counts as a pretty significant addition to his career. And yes, I agree with those who say that this is weak competition, but all of the great sprinters took important wins against stronger and weaker fields over a career and doing it again at this point in his career arc in the biggest race in the world is meaningful.
I think this is part of what makes him the best. Who remembers Cipollini’s comeback with Rock Racing at 37 years old?

Most of those who do remember it wish we didn’t because it was bad (though he did manage a 3rd place behind Cav in California on one or two stages).

Maybe if Ewan was still here, he wouldn’t have a share of the record yet, but he still looks damn good on a bike and though he may not be as fast as he was at his peak, he’s still good enough to win Tour de France stages at an age well past most sprinters sell by date. Zabel couldn’t buy a win in his later years. Cipo was retiring and was the closest, but there had been a pretty steep decline by age 36.
 
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I think this is part of what makes him the best. Who remembers Cipollini’s comeback with Rock Racing at 37 years old?

Most of those who do remember it wish we didn’t because it was bad (though he did manage a 3rd place behind Cav in California on one or two stages).

Maybe if Ewan was still here, he wouldn’t have a share of the record yet, but he still looks damn good on a bike and though he may not be as fast as he was at his peak, he’s still good enough to win Tour de France stages at an age well past most sprinters sell by date. Zabel couldn’t buy a win in his later years. Cipo was retiring and was the closest, but there had been a pretty steep decline by age 36.
Petacchi has been the only other that was still winning GT stages though 3 to Cavs 4 and won a GT stage at 37.
 
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I think this is part of what makes him the best. Who remembers Cipollini’s comeback with Rock Racing at 37 years old?

Most of those who do remember it wish we didn’t because it was bad (though he did manage a 3rd place behind Cav in California on one or two stages).

Maybe if Ewan was still here, he wouldn’t have a share of the record yet, but he still looks damn good on a bike and though he may not be as fast as he was at his peak, he’s still good enough to win Tour de France stages at an age well past most sprinters sell by date. Zabel couldn’t buy a win in his later years. Cipo was retiring and was the closest, but there had been a pretty steep decline by age 36.
Zabel won a Vuelta stage in a bunch sprint when he was 37.
 
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It's quite a wide range of careers to think riders who have finished 2nd behind Cavendish in Tour stages.
2008: Óscar Freire, Gerald Ciolek, Sébastien Chavanel, Robbie McEwen
2009: Tyler Farrar, Thor Hushovd, Thor Hushovd, Tyler Farrar, Thor Hushovd, Mark Renshaw
2010: Gerald Ciolek, Tyler Farrar, Alessandro Petacchi, Julian Dean, Alessandro Petacchi
2011: Philippe Gilbert, Alessandro Petacchi, André Greipel, Tyler Farrar, Edvald Boasson Hagen
2012: André Greipel, Matthew Goss, Peter Sagan
2013: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Peter Sagan
2015: André Greipel
2016: Marcel Kittel, André Greipel, Marcel Kittel, Alexander Kristoff
2021: Nacer Bouhanni, Jasper Philipsen, Wout van Aert, Michael Mørkøv

Of those, Ciolek, Chavanel, Renshaw, Dean and Goss never won TdF stage. Bouhanni, Philipsen and Mørkøv are active riders without one.
 
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I think this is part of what makes him the best. Who remembers Cipollini’s comeback with Rock Racing at 37 years old?

Most of those who do remember it wish we didn’t because it was bad (though he did manage a 3rd place behind Cav in California on one or two stages).

Maybe if Ewan was still here, he wouldn’t have a share of the record yet, but he still looks damn good on a bike and though he may not be as fast as he was at his peak, he’s still good enough to win Tour de France stages at an age well past most sprinters sell by date. Zabel couldn’t buy a win in his later years. Cipo was retiring and was the closest, but there had been a pretty steep decline by age 36.
Cipollini was almost 41 and did not race for 3 years before that. Not a fair comparison.

Edit: that is referring to his time with RR
 
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Expanding more on Finn84's list. The podium of all the Grand Tour stages Cavendish won and finished in the top 10 (did top 20 but only 1 place outside 10 on a stage he contested) as those are the closest on who was going to win that particular stage.

2007 Tour: 0% win rate

Stage 3: Cancellara, E. Zabel, Napolitano 9th Cavendish

Stage 4: Hushovd, Hunter, Freire 10th Cavendish

2008 Giro: 33% win rate

Stage 3: Bennati, E. Zabel, Hondo 9th Cavendish

Stage 4: Cavendish, Forster, Bennati

Stage 9: Bennati. Bettini, McEwen, 7th Cavendish

Stage 12: Bennati, Cavendish, McEwen

Stage 13: Cavendish, Bennati, Fernandez

Stage 17: Greipel, Cavendish, Bennati

2008 Tour: 80% win rate

Stage 3: S. Dumoulin, Frischkorn, Feillu, 10th Cavendish

Stage 5: Cavendish, Freire, E. Zabel

Stage 8: Cavendish, Ciolek, Casper

Stage 12: Cavendish, Seb. Chavanel, Steegmans

Stage 13: Cavendish, McEwen, Feillu

2009 Giro: 75% win rate

Stage 2: Petacchi, Cavendish, Swift

Stage 9: Cavendish, Davis, Farrar

Stage 11: Cavendish, Farrar, Petacchi

Stage 13: Cavendish, Petacchi, Davis

2009 Tour: 75% win rate (100% all stages contested for win)

Stage 2: Cavendish, Farrar, Feillu

Stage 3: Cavendish, Hushovd, Lemoine

Stage 5: Voeckler, Ignatiev, Cavendish, Farrar, Ciolek (Breakaway win, best of group)

Stage 10: Cavendish, Hushovd, Farrar

Stage 11: Cavendish, Farrar, Hutarovich

Stage 12: Sorensen, Lefevre, Pellizotti/Fother, 7th/8th Cavendish Hushovd, Bandiera (Breakaway win, best of group)

Stage 19: Cavendish, Hushovd, Ciolek

Stage 21: Cavendish, Renshaw, Farrar

2010 Tour: 63% win rate (83% all stages contested for win)

Stage 4: Petacchi, Dean, EBH, 12th Cavendish

Stage 5: Cavendish, Ciolek, EBH

Stage 6: Cavendish, Farrar, Petacchi

Stage 10: Paulinho, Kiryienka, Devenyns, 9th Cavendish, Petacchi, Hushovd (Breakaway win, best of group)

Stage 11: Cavendish, Petacchi, Farrar

Stage 13: Vinokourov, Cavendish, Petacchi, EBH (Breakaway win, best of group)

Stage 18: Cavendish, Dean, Petacchi

Stage 20: Cavendish, Petacchi, Dean

2010 Vuelta: 43% win rate

Stage 2: Hutarovich, Cavendish, Farrar

Stage 5: Farrar, Fernandez, Cavendish

Stage 7: Petacchi, Cavendish, Haedo

Stage 12: Cavendish, Farrar, Goss

Stage 13: Cavendish, Hushovd, Bennati

Stage 18: Cavendish, Haedo, Cardoso

Stage 21: Farrar, Cavendish, Davis

2011 Giro: 67% win rate

Stage 2: Petacchi, Cavendish, Belletti

Stage 10: Cavendish, Ventoso, Petacchi

Stage 12: Cavendish, Appolonio, Petacchi

2011 Tour: 71% win rate

Stage 3: Farrar, Feillu, Rojas, 5th Cavendish

Stage 5: Cavendish, Gilbert, Rojas

Stage 7: Cavendish, Petacchi, Greipel

Stage 10: Greipel, Cavendish, Rojas

Stage 11: Cavendish, Greipel, Farrar

Stage 15: Cavendish, Farrar, Petacchi

Stage 21: Cavendish, EBH, Greipel

2012 Giro: 60% win rate

Stage 2: Cavendish, Goss, Soupe

Stage 5: Cavendish, Goss, Bennati

Stage 11: Ferrari, Chicchi, Vaitkus, 4th Cavendish

Stage 13: Cavendish, Kristoff, Renshaw

Stage 18: Guardini, Cavendish, Ferrari

2012 Tour: 75% win rate

Stage 2: Cavendish, Greipel, Goss

Stage 5: Greipel, Goss, Haedo, 5th Cavendish

Stage 18: Cavendish, Goss, Sagan

Stage 20: Cavendish, Sagan, Goss

2013 Giro: 100% win rate

Stage 1: Cavendish, Viviani, Bouhanni

Stage 6: Cavendish, Viviani, Goss

Stage 12: Cavendish, Bouhanni, Mezgec

Stage 13: Cavendish, Nizzolo, Mezgec

Stage 21: Cavendish, Modolo, Viviani

2013 Tour: 33% win rate

Stage 5: Cavendish, EBH, Sagan

Stage 6: Greipel, Sagan, Kittel, 4th Cavendish

Stage 10: Kittel, Greipel, Cavendish

Stage 12: Kittel, Cavendish, Sagan

Stage 13: Cavendish, Sagan, Mollema

Stage 21: Kittel, Greipel, Cavendish

2015 Tour: 25% win rate

Stage 2: Greipel, Sagan, Cancellara, 4th Cavendish

Stage 5: Greipel, Sagan, Cavendish

Stage 7: Cavendish, Greipel, Sagan

Stage 21: Greipel, Coquard, Kristoff, 6th Cavendish

2016 Tour: 80% win rate

Stage 1: Cavendish, Kittel, Sagan

Stage 3: Cavendish, Greipel, Coquard

Stage 4: Kittel, Coquard, Sagan, 8th Cavendish

Stage 6: Cavendish, Kittel, McLay

Stage 14: Cavendish, Kristoff, Sagan

2017 Tour: 0% win rate

Stage 2: Kittel, Demare, Greipel, 4th Cavendish

2018 Tour: 0% win rate

Stage 7: Groenewegen, Gaviria, Sagan, 10th Cavendish

Stage 8: Groenewegen, Sagan, Degenkolb, Eighth Cavendish

2021 Tour: 100% (so far)

Stage 4: Cavendish, Bouhanni, Philipsen

Stage 6: Cavendish, Philipsen, Bouhanni

Stage 10: Cavendish, WVA, Philipsen

Stage 13: Cavendish, Morkov, Philipsen
 
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So of the 86 stages Cavendish has finished top 10/20 or contested he has won 52 stages which is 60%. Remove the 4 stages that the break took and it goes to 63% win rate. 5 of the 20 Grand Tours he has entered resulted in no stage win, 75% win rate. For comparison Kittel has 19 wins in 31 stages (2 TTs) contested for 61% win rate, without the TTs a 66% win rate. 2 of the 9 Grand Tours he has entered have resulted in no stage win, 78% win rate. Greipel has 22 stage wins in 96 contested for a 23% win rate.7 of the 19 Grand Tours he has entered have resulted in no stage win, 63% win rate.

To no surprise Kittel has 1 more win than Cavendish on stages they have contested and probably to everyone’s surprise Guardini does as well on stages he has contested, 1 vs 0. Most likely to no surprise Cavendish has beaten Farrar, Hushovd, and Greipel the most.

34 Stage wins against Cavendish finishing in the top 10/20 vs Cavendish’s wins against them with them contesting in the top 20:
  1. Greipel 7 wins 28% (one of which they were teammates and conflicted on Cav letting Greipel win or team orders was for Greipel to win) (2008, 2011-2015) vs 18 Cavendish wins (2011-2013, 2015-2016, 2021)
  2. Kittel 5 wins 56% (2013, 2016, 2017) vs 4 Cavendish wins (2016)
  3. Petacchi 4 wins 25% (2009-2011) vs 12 Cavendish wins (2009-2012)
  4. Farrar 12%, Bennati 21%, 3 (2010-2011), (2008) vs 22 Cavendish wins (2009-2013, 2015), 11 Cavendish wins (2008-2013)
  5. Groenewegen 2 40% (2018) vs 3 Cavendish wins (2016)
  6. Hushovd 5%, S. Dumoulin 10%, Hutarovich 17%, Ferrari 10%, Modolo 17%, Guardini 100%(!), 1 (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2012, 2012) vs Cavendish 20 wins (2008-2012), 9 wins (2009-2013, 2015-2016), 5 wins (2009, 2010, 2012), 9 wins (2011-2013), 5 wins (2011-2013), 0 wins (Guardini’s best place on a stage Cav won was 29)
  7. (Breakaway) Cancellara, Voeckler, Sorensen, Paulinho, Vinokourov 1
Foods for thought, Ewan and Cavendish have yet to race against the other in a GT. Gaviria has won a stage that Cavendish has finished 21st in 2018. Sagan has not gotten a stage win in a stage Cavendish has contested though he has finished higher position multiple times and Cavendish has 13 stage wins over him.


Other notable sprinters Cavendish has beaten who have yet to beat him:
Ciolek best finish was two 2nds (2008, 2010) with 15 Cavendish wins (2008-2011)
Sagan best finish was two 2nds (2012-2013) with 13 Cavendish wins (2012-2013, 2015-2016, 2021)
McEwen best finish was 2nd (2008) with 11 Cavendish wins (2008, 2010)
Freire best finish was 2nd (2008) with 10 Cavendish wins (2008-2010)
Goss best finish was three 2nds (2012) with 9 Cavendish wins (2009, 2012-2013)
Kristoff best finish was two 2nds (2012, 2016) with 8 Cavendish wins (2012-2013, 2015-2016) EBH best finish was two 2nds (2011, 2013) with 8 Cavendish wins (2009-2011, 2013)
Bouhanni best finish was two 2nds (2013, 2021) with 7 Cavendish wins (2013, 2021)
Degenkolb best finish was two 4ths (2015-2016 with 7 Cavendish wins (2013, 2015-2016)
Zabel best finish was 2nd (2008) with 6 Cavendish wins (2008)
Nizzolo best finish 2nd (2013) with 6 Cavendish wins (2012-2013)
Viviani best finish two 2nds (2013) with 4 Cavendish wins (2013)
Demare best finish was 4th (2021) with 4 Cavendish wins (2012, 2015, 2021)
Bennett best finish was 10th (2015) with 2 Cavendish wins (2015-2016)
 
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Good stuff
I will say that I damn happy that he has done what he's done. I am amazed that he has come back to the top level. He certainly is humble and respectful now. It almost seems that it was mainly a mental issue, his confidence, blocking him because his speed is really there. I would love to see him sprint against Ewan now, and Bennett if (when) he is on another team. I'm pulling for him to finish with green!
 
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For posterity sake:
Cipollini is harder to do the top 20 on as procycling stats is incomplete. Based off the results Procyclingstats shows. Results from the Giro are incomplete until 2000 Giro, all of the Tour results are complete, and results from the Vuelta are incomplete until 2002 Vuelta.
Cipollini has won 57 stages and for an incomplete contested 116 stages with a 49% win rate. He has started 27 Grand Tours and has finished 7 without a stage win, 74% win rate.

Petacchi has won 48 (53) stages and contested 156 (169 2007 and 2012 results dqed) stages with a 31% (31%) win rate. He has started 30 (32) Grand Tours and has finished 16 (17) without a stage win, 47% (47%) win rate.

So ranking the 5 riders most agree are the best pure sprinters:
Based off win rate of Grand Tour stages contested:
  1. Kittel 61% (66%) 19-31 (29)
  2. Cavendish 60% (63%) 52-86 (82)
  3. Cipollini 49% 57-116
  4. Petacchi 31% (31%) 48 (53) - 156 (169)
  5. Greipel 23% 22-96
Based off winning a stage at each Grand Tour they entered:
  1. Kittel 78% 7-9
  2. Cavendish 75% 15-20
  3. Cipollini 74% 20-27
  4. Greipel 63% 12-19
  5. Petacchi 47% (47) 14-30 (15-32)
Based off most years between first and last Grand Tour stage win:
  1. Cipollini 15 1989-2003
  2. Cavendish 14 2008-2021
  3. Petacchi 12 2000-2011
  4. Greipel 10 2008-2017
  5. Kittel 7 2011-2017
Career wins (based off Procyclingstats win result page, not head to head page)
  1. Cipollini 161
  2. Greipel 158
  3. Cavendish 155
  4. Petacchi 150
  5. Kittel 89
Length of pro career according to Procyclingstats:
  1. Petacchi 20 1996-2005
  2. Cipollini 17 (18) 1989-2005, (2008)
  3. Greipel 17 2005-2021 active
  4. Cavendish 16 2006-2021 active
  5. Kittel 8 2011-2019
 
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