Mark Cavendish, not yet retired, is set to ride forthcoming classics

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Mark Cavendish in tearsMark Cavendish in tears
Mark Cavendish in tears
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Mark Cavendish will race at Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, Telegraph Sport understands.” data-reactid=”17″>Mark Cavendish will race at Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, Telegraph Sport understands.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The plan is still for the British rider to start the upcoming classics, assuming they run after today’s spate of positive tests for coronavirus at the Giro d’Italia.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”18″>The plan is still for the British rider to start the upcoming classics, assuming they run after today’s spate of positive tests for coronavirus at the Giro d’Italia

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cavendish’s emotional response following Gent Wevelgem last weekend, when he admitted that that race could be his last, triggered speculation that the 35 year-old might have retired from the sport.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”19″>Cavendish’s emotional response following Gent Wevelgem last weekend, when he admitted that that race could be his last, triggered speculation that the 35 year-old might have retired from the sport

When asked how his race went, a tearful Cavendish said: “Perhaps that’s the last race of my career.” When questioned further whether believed his career was over, he replied “Maybe, yes.”

His words prompted an outpouring of goodwill on social media for the Bahrain-McLaren rider, one of the greatest sprinters the sport has ever seen, if not the greatest. 

Cavendish is a winner of 30 Tour de France stages — second only to Eddy Merckx — multiple world titles on track and road, an Olympic silver medal, Milan-San Remo and countless other races.

Many fans and pundits expressed a desire to see the Briton race again so that fans could give him the send-off he deserves after a difficult few years which have seen Cavendish suffer from crashes, debilitating illness and mental health issues. The 2011 road world champion has not won a WorldTour race for more than two years.

It is unclear, however, whether he intends to ride on next season. Bahrain-McLaren manager Rod Ellingworth said at the weekend that talks were continuing over a contract extension.