The Manxman, 36, beat Deceuninck-QuickStep team-mate Michael Morkov and Alpecin-Fenix’s Jasper Philipsen to victory on stage 13 from Nimes to Carcassonne on Friday as he continued his unbelievable comeback.
It was four-time world champion, dash specialist Cavendish’s fourth stage win on the 2021 Tour already and noticed him transfer degree with the legendary Belgian bicycle owner Merckx, who received 34 levels in complete between 1969-75.
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar retains possession of the Yellow Jersey, holding a 5min 18sec lead over closest rival Rigoberto Uran within the general classification with eight levels remaining, with a hilly journey from Carcassonne to Quillan to return on Saturday.
“It’s tiring,” Cavendish – who had beforehand not received a stage on the Tour de France since 2016 – stated afer equalling the report.
“I can’t even give it some thought. I’m afraid I’m so useless after 220km in that warmth, that wind and that finale, phwoar.
“I went deep, I went so deep there. The boys had been unbelievable. I can’t consider it. A number of the day it didn’t really feel prefer it [was going to happen] but it surely needed to occur as a result of I had the blokes driving like they had been.
“I used to be so on the restrict there.”
He added: “I haven’t realised it [the record]. It’s nonetheless simply one other win on the Tour de France. It’s like my first one. I’ve received a stage of the Tour de France. It’s what I dreamed of as a child and it’s what I dream of now.
“I’ve labored so exhausting for it. We’ve seen such a development, particularly within the UK, of biking since I’ve began racing right here on the Tour de France.
“If any certainly one of my wins can encourage the children to journey the Tour de France or the Tour de France Femmes from subsequent 12 months once they develop up, that’s what means probably the most to me I feel.”