‘I don’t want to stop’ - Mark Cavendish puts retirement speculation to bed by declaring ‘I love this sport’
Mark Cavendish has quashed rumours he may be retiring from cycling by insisting he still loves the sport and does not have any desire to stop.
The 35-year-old sprinter gave a tearful interview after Gent-Wevelgem last weekend where he said the Belgian classic ‘could have been the last race of his career’.
But Cavendish, who has the second-most Tour de France stage victories of all-time, has now expanded on what he meant by the emotional statement.
"There were rumours at the start of the race that the rest of the races would be cancelled," he told Sporza before the start of Scheldeprijs on Wednesday.
"I don't have next year sorted yet and it dawned on me that it could be the last race of the season and potentially my career. Obviously, I wear my heart on my sleeve and especially with racing here in Belgium – here in Scheldeprijs was my first win as a professional.
"I was looking forward to this race and I was enjoying racing in Belgium. It's pure racing like when I was a kid again.
"I don't have a desire to stop. I don't want to stop. I love this sport. I give my life to this sport and I'd like to continue riding my bike."
As well as his Tour de France exploits - which include winning the green jersey for best sprinter - Cavendish also became the first Brit since Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the world road race title when he claimed the rainbow jersey in 2011.
Other accolades include 15 Giro d’Italia stage victories, two Vuelta Espana wins and the Milan-San Remo classic.
On the track, he is also a two-time Madison world champion and Olympic silver medallist in the omnium.