"I made him a better sprinter" - Michael Morkov 'had no option' when called to rejoin Mark Cavendish in his final season

In his final season as a cycling professional, Mark Cavendish has got the band back together for his farewell tour, reuniting with his past leadout experts, Michael Morkov and Mark Renshaw.

For Morkov, when the call came to reunite with the 'Manx Missile' at the Astana Qazaqstan Team, the Dane didn't have to think twice. "Cav called me during the Tour after he crashed last year," Morkov recalls in conversation with Eurosport for the Eurosport Cycling Show. "He asked me to join the team - if I joined the team he would extend his career. I think I had no option! I wanted to support him."

Cavendish and Morkov successfully linked up during their time together at Soudal - Quick-Step, notably at the 2021 Tour de France, where the legendary sprinter took four stages, equalling the all-time record held by Eddy Merckx and won his second Green Jersey. "With the success we had in the past, I made him a better sprinter, but he also made me a better leadout man," Morkov reflects. "So I’m really happy to join Cav again and I’m sure we’re going to have some victories."

In 2024, taking a historic 35th Tour de France stage win has to be the big goal for Cavendish and Morkov. "I don’t feel there's much pressure to be honest and we can use that to try to win a stage at the Tour de France," Morkov analyses. "Mark doesn’t have to prove himself. If he doesn’t win at the Tour de France anymore, he’s still had an amazing career. I don’t have to prove myself either. Astana will do whatever they can to support Mark and our group to make this special victory. I hope we can take the win but if not, we didn’t lose anything."

As mentioned, alongside Morkov, Cavendish has also reunited with another of his former leadout supremos in Mark Renshaw. “It’s something really special,” adds the Australian. “It’s not going to be easy. For me, and for Mark, he already holds the record with Eddy Merckx. He’s trying to go one better, which is no easy feat. So if we can achieve that goal, there will be a lot of happy people.”

“He works as hard as anyone else in the sport. There’s many riders that are as determined, but I think his natural ability is better - he has something special that most riders don’t," Renshaw concludes. "It’s amazing how careers and how history unfolds at the moment. It prolongs one more year and we get one more chance at the Tour. That’s amazing."

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