British sprinter Mark Cavendish avoided a late crash to win a third consecutive stage at the Tour of Turkey on Wednesday to remain in the overall lead of the eight day event.
The 35-year-old Cavendish hadn’t won a race since 2018 before Monday but was celebrating a third victory in three days after the 184.4km run from Alanya to the coastal town of Kemer.
Cavendish is now just one win away from his 150th victory after pipping Belgian Jasper Philipsen to the line, while Poland’s Stanislaw Aniolkowski was third
The former Madison world champion and winner of 30 Tour de France stages had been suffering from Epstein Barr virus, but seems to have found both his form and his confidence.
“It’s irrelevant how many wins are in a row, it’s just nice to win again. It’s nice that the team believe in me,” Cavendish said.
“I waited and got ready to anticipate the jump as quickly as possible so I could close Philipsen as quickly as possible.
“It was a long old sprint for us today. It was a drag strip. Headwind finish, slightly uphill. It was more of a grind than a speed sprint,” he added.
The serious collision happened with 200 metres to go after the leaders had passed and German Alexander Krieger was admitted to hospital due to his injuries.
“He is (and always has been) conscious. We will give you further updates when we have news from the hospital,” Krieger’s Alpecin-Fenix team posted on Twitter.
Deceuninck-Quick Step’s Cavendish has a 12 second lead over Alpecin-Fenix’s Philipsen ahead of Thursday’s 160km in-land run from Kemer to Elmali with a finish at 1830m altitude.