Cycling news - Mark Cavendish says family is his priority with 2022 contract talks yet to start with
The Manx Missile was reportedly considering retirement had he broken Eddy Merckx's record but that did not come to fruition. Instead it is now believed that he might well come back for one more year to try and get to 35 Tour de France stage wins after winning four in this year's edition of the race.
'It took a genius to unpick it!' - Cavendish's historic 34th stage win
Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish has said he has had no contract talks about the 2022 season and that he is now focusing on time with his family.
Cavendish was the comeback story of the Tour as he went from being nowhere near the squad to becoming the key figure, securing four stage wins on his way to the points crown, his first green jersey since 2011.
In the process he drew level with the legendary Eddy Merckx on 34 stage wins at the Tour, although he was denied a record-breaking 35th win on the final stage by Wout van Aert.
WATCH - Every single one of Mark Cavendish's 34 Tour de France stage wins
It has led to speculation that he will postpone any thoughts of retirement and look to find a ride for 2022 that puts him in the best position to break Merckx’s record.
However, speaking after the Roeselare Criterium, which took place in the hometown of Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere and close to the team’s service course, Cavendish said he hasn’t had any talks yet.
"I haven't seen Patrick yet. I just got back from Paris, so I haven't talked about my future within the team yet. I want to enjoy today," the 36-year-old said.
"After arriving in Paris, we had a small party. You can't plan or do anything big in these corona times, but everyone on the team was there, so we had a 'bubble party' in which we discussed our Tour de France again.
"I'm going to make some time for my family now. I missed my wife and children. And I also want to recover a bit after a tough Tour."
Wiggins – This will spur Cavendish on
Speaking after the final stage of the Tour de France, former race winner and close friend of Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins said he thought the failure to break Merckx’s record would spurs the Manx Missile on.
“It doesn’t always happen. It’s very difficult,” said Eurosport expert Wiggins on the sprint.
'This will spur him on' - Wiggins backs Cav to return and 'go for record'
“You can’t underestimate just how hard it is, it’s a lot narrower than it used to be from the 1km banner.
“He [Cavendish] has done it 34 times, navigating his way through the chaos and carnage to get himself to the front.
“He’s a winner, Mark. And he tried today, the team tried but it just wasn’t to be and that’s the way it is sometimes in cycling.”
Wiggins embraces former team-mate Cavendish after he equals Tour record
When asked if he thought Cavendish would return to the Tour, Wiggins added: “I don’t know, I don’t know.
“What a lovely way to end here it would have been. Knowing Mark, this will make him even more hungry for next year and he’ll want to come back.
“He’s found a new level of form that he thought he had lost. I think this will spur him on to go for another year and go for that record.”