The Independent

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Cavendish sets sights on Tour de France stage wins

Mark Cavendish has set his sights on multiple stage wins at the Tour de France in July as he lines up a bid to become the historic race’s outright record-holder.

Cavendish currently shares the most stage wins with Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, who dominated the first half of the 1970s, after collecting his 34th single-day victory during the 2021 Tour.

Merckx was there to congratula­te Cavendish at the finish in Carcassonn­e that day, but the Manxman couldn’t add a record

35th stage in the final week of the Tour and then lost his place for the 2022 edition to QuickStep teammate Fabio Jakobsen.

Now the 37-year-old has joined Kazakh team Astana in an effort to win one more this summer, but insists his ambition is not limited to claiming stage No 35.

“I’m not going there to win one more, I’m going there to try to win as much as I can,” Cavendish told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “[The record is] not going to change my life, but as long as I can still be a profession­al bike rider and win, I want to be a profession­al bike rider. And when you’re a profession­al bike rider, you need goals, and you need motivation.”

“I love my sport, I just love it. I’m a bike rider, I always was a bike rider. Why would I not continue? I think I’ve done enough for this sport. I think I’ve earned the right to finish when I want to finish and not have someone else telling me when I should stop. We’ll see, but it seems like Giro [d’Italia] and Tour are in my plans, so we’ll make a big summer.”

Bayern advance to last eight after beating PSG

Former Paris St Germain forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting helped knock his old side out of the Champions League last night as Bayern Munich sealed a dominant 3-0 aggregate victory. Leading 1-0 from the first leg in Paris, the 33-year-old scored the opener in a 2-0 second-leg victory to send the Bundesliga giants through to the quarter-finals.

The Cameroon internatio­nal benefited from a defensive mistake from 17-year-old substitute El Chadaille Bitshiabu to score just past the hour mark before Serge Gnabry put the seal on another European failure for the big-spending French club.

Bayern’s defensive resilience in Europe this season – this was their seventh clean sheet in eight matches - meant even a side featuring Mbappe and Lionel Messi faltered as PSG failed to get past the last 16 stage for the fifth time in seven years.

Fury has ‘turned down’ Usyk purse split

Tyson Fury has rejected a purse split of 60-40 in the favour of the winner of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk, the latter’s promoter has said.

Fury and Usyk are expected to clash this year to crown an undisputed heavyweigh­t champion, but Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said this week that negotiatio­ns have hit a roadblock of sorts. Now Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk has suggested that Fury’s monetary demands are the reason for the delay.

Discussing negotiatio­ns around the fight, Krassyuk told Talksport yesterday: “We are not asking for a figure, we are asking for a split, and probably the split doesn’t work well if someone is asking for a figure. I can definitely say that it’s not our party.

“We have said that we want this fight to happen as much as possible, and we are in the position to share whatever the fight generates. If it generates a lot, then we are happy to share it; if it doesn’t, it is what it is. “We initially agreed for 50-50, but then Tyson was asking for some bigger money. So, we made it clear that we are ready to go 60-40, but the winner takes 60. That was our latest offer.” When asked if Fury had turned down the offer, Krassyuk said: “Yes, exactly.”

Hamilton hits out at Mercedes for ‘not listening’

Hopes for an improved campaign for the team have been dented by a slow start to the season, with George Russell and Hamilton off-the-pace throughout the season-opening weekend in Bahrain.

The seven-time world champion eventually came home fifth at the Sakhir Circuit, two places ahead of his teammate. Mercedes dealt with major performanc­e problems in 2022, with their W13 vehicle struggling particular­ly with “porpoising”, and it appears that off-season tweaks have not significan­tly altered the car’s competitiv­eness.

Hamilton has now suggested that the team ignored his concerns, calling for “accountabi­lity” and a collective effort to solve their problems.

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 ?? (AP) ?? The 37 - year- o l d Cavendish is starting afresh at Kazakh team Astana as he aims to set the outright record for Tour stage wins this summer
(AP) The 37 - year- o l d Cavendish is starting afresh at Kazakh team Astana as he aims to set the outright record for Tour stage wins this summer

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