British cyclist Mark Cavendish has decided to extend his professional career for another year to give himself another chance and win his 35th stage in the 2024 Tour de France, which would allow him to break the record that he shares with the legendary Eddie Merckx.

The Astana Qazaqstan team reported the postponement of the end of his professional career for another year and offered him a renewal offer after having to forcibly abandon the 2023 Tour as a result of a fall that broke his collarbone.

Misfortune ruined the dream of Cavendish, who almost fulfilled it the day before in Bordeaux. Cavendish, who along with Eddie Merckx is already the person with the most stage wins in the Tour (34). His goal is to erase the current record and lead this prestigious classification alone.

“Well, this year I announced my retirement and I really wanted to not have to get up to train every day, but I think I’m ready for this year more as a professional cyclist and I’m happy to be able to do it and finish it with the Astana Qazaqstan Team. I love this team and even beyond next year I would like to do something more for this project. However, this is a question of the future,” said Cavendish, in statements collected by the Kazakh team.

The British rider, 38, really wanted to say goodbye and announced his retirement at the end of May during the Giro d’Italia. Shortly after he won the last stage of that round and then took the start in the Tour de France, however, on the eighth stage he suffered a bad fall and broke his collarbone.

The dream of achieving his 35th stage victory in the Tour and becoming the sole record holder for the number of stage wins seemed to be falling apart, but Cavendish will continue to compete and focus on the Tour de France once again in 2024, hoping to beat Eddy Merckx’s record.

“It’s no secret that Mark’s main goal was the Tour de France and winning a stage there. I think a true champion should not end his career like this. So, I asked Mark if in a few years he would regret not trying again, and in turn, I suggested that he reconsider his decision, stay one more season and still try to win a stage in the Tour de France. It will not be easy to beat the record that he shares with Eddie Merckx, but we have a new opportunity and we have to take advantage of it,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, general manager of the Astana Qazaqstan Team, in statements collected by the Kazakh team.