Cavendish finished the fastest race, ahead of France’s Nasir Bohani (Arkia Samsik) and Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen (Alpsin-Phoenix).
The 36-year-old Briton took second place in the standings ever to win a stage in the “Big Loop”, but the previous one was in 2016. Only the famous Belgian Eddie Merckx won another stage – 34.
Cavendish last competed in the Tour de France in 2018. Then came weaker seasons, weaker teams, and starting smaller races. This year he returned to the team led by Patrick Levere, and after three years without a win, he won four stages in the Turkey Ring and one in the Tour of Belgium.
However, Cavendish was not to start in the Tour de France. He was included in the squad after a knee injury to Irish team sprinter Sam Bennett of Belgium, the points classification winner at last year’s Tour de France.
– I do not know what to say. Just being in this race is something special. I thought I would never go back to the Tour de France. A lot of people didn’t believe in me, but these guys (from the Deceuninck-Quick Step team) did,” Cavendish said with tears in his eyes.
The stage began with the protest of the cyclists who stopped and then walked the 10 km at a slow pace. In this way, they expressed their dissatisfaction with the numerous incidents and the lack of reaction of the regulators. They demanded that their representatives participate in talks with the UCI and competition organizers about safety.
The day before their fall, incl. The three contenders for the race are: Slovenian Tadej Pojacar, Primoz Roglic and Briton Geriant Thomas. Roglic lost nearly a minute and a half to the lead at the finish line.
On Tuesday, a large peloton arrived at Fougeres, and behind him, with a loss of more than a minute, came among others both Poles – Michai Kwiatkowski and Rafai Majka.
Nothing has changed at the top of the general classification: Van der Poel leads by eight seconds over French world champion Julien Alaphilippe and 31 seconds over Ecuadorean Richard Carapaz and Belgian Wute van Aert.
Fourth stage results – Redon Fougeret (150.4 km):
1. Mark Cavendish (W Britannia / Deaconink-Quick Step) – 3: 20.17
2 – Nasir Bohani (France / Arkia Samsik)
3. Jasper Philipsen (Belgium/Alpecin-Phoenix)
4. Michael Matthews (Australia/BikeExchange)
5 – Peter Sagan (Slovakia / Bora – Hansgrohe)
6. Sis Paul (Netherlands / DSM)
7 – Christophe Laporte (France / Cofidis)
Mads Pedersen (Dania / Trek Segafredo)
9 – Boy van Poppel (Hollandia / Intermarsh – Wantte – Joubert)
10. Andre Greipel (Germany / Emerging State of Israel) at the same time
139- Rafai Majka (Poland / UAE) lost 1.07
158- Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland / Ineos Grenadier)
Riders with the most wins:
34- Eddie Merckx (Belgium) 1969-1975
31- Mark Cavendish (UK) 2008
28- Bernard Hainaut (France) 1978-1986
25- Andre Leduc (France) 1927-1938
22- Andre Dargade (France) 1953-1964
20- Nicolas Frantz (Luxembourg) 1924-1929