Arise, Sir Mark Cavendish

British pro cyclist Mark Cavendish, whose fearlessness, power, and thirst for success has earned him 164 professional victories in a glittering career, was knighted by King Charles in London.

This 39-year-old Masters Athlete heralds from the Isle of Man and is known as the Manx Missile because of his speed and aggressiveness in sprint finishes. He has won 34 Tour de France stages, putting him tied for first place on the all-time list along with the legend Eddy Merckx.

Cavendish is in his last year as a professional cyclist, follows Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny in becoming a cycling knight.

The Astana Qazaqstan rider will seek to clinch at least one final stage win at this year’s Tour de France which begins June 29th and runs to July 21st.

This past May, Cavendish won the 164th victory of his career which put him one ahead of famed Italian sprint Mario Cipollini making him the most successful male sprinter in cycling history. 

The Manx Missile turned professional in 2007 with T-Mobile, quickly establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, taking the first of his Tour stage wins in 2008, as well as the first of his 17 Giro d’Italia stage wins. He won Milan-San Remo, one of cycling’s monuments and in 2009, in an era when pure sprinters weren’t supposed to win, Cavendish won the World Championships in 2011. 

He was a regular winner throughout the 2010s until a combination of injury, misfortune and circumstance saw the victories dry up from about 2017 onwards. However, Cavendish exploded back onto the scene in 2021, a year in which he won four stages of the Tour.

Cavendish narrowly missed out on victory at the Tour last year, finishing second on Stage 7 before crashing out the next day. At the end of the 2023 season, he decided to continue for one final year with Astana Qazaqstan with the goal of winning one more, record breaking stage win at this year’s Tour.