Carmelo Anthony – a 10-time All-Star and the NBA’s ninth all-time leading scorer – has officially announced his retirement from the league.

He revealed the decision on Monday via social media, saying in a video filled with his career highlights that "the time has come to say goodbye."

The third overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, Anthony scored 28,289 points over 19 seasons. He didn’t play this past season, last playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021-22.

One of the most prolific scorers in league history, Anthony led the NBA in scoring in 2012-13 with an average of 28.7 points per game, and finished in the top 10 in scoring in nine seasons.

Anthony, who turns 39 years old next Monday, was selected to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, and was named to the All-NBA second team twice and All-NBA third team four times.

He spent his first seven seasons in Denver, helping the Nuggets to the playoffs each year – including a berth in the Western Conference finals in 2009.

During the 2010-11 season, he was traded to the New York Knicks, and helped guide them to three playoff berths during his six-plus seasons there.

Following his last season with the Knicks in 2016-17, Anthony bounced around from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers before finishing up with the Lakers.

He concludes his NBA career with averages of 22.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 1,260 games.

"It’s a bittersweet goodbye to the NBA," Anthony said. "I am excited about what the future holds for me."

In addition to his success in the NBA, Anthony also led Syracuse to an NCAA championship as a freshman in 2003 and helped USA Basketball win three Olympic gold medals – at Beijing in 2008, at London in 2012 and at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

His 31 Olympic basketball games played are the most for any American man, and his 37 points scored in a 2012 game against Nigeria are also a USA Basketball men’s Olympic record.

"People ask what I believe my legacy is," Anthony said. "It’s not my feats on the court that come to mind, all the awards or praise. Because my story has always been more than basketball.

"My legacy, my son ... I will forever continue through you. The time has come for you to carry this torch."

Ante-post favourite Al Riffa will not run in in Saturday’s Irish 2,000 Guineas after suffering “a little setback” in training.

A son of Wootton Bassett, he made three starts last year for Joseph O’Brien, all at the Curragh, and signed off the campaign with a length-and-a-quarter success over Proud And Regal in the Group One National Stakes.

However, the Jassim Bin Al Attiyah-owned colt has not raced since September and while market leader for the mile Classic, he will be a notable absentee.

O’Brien said: “He has just had a little setback training. Hopefully it is nothing too serious and he will be back later in the summer.

“He has options at Ascot and further afield than that as well.

“These things happen, so it’s a long way from a problem. It is obviously disappointing for the owners. This race has been his target for the last while, but we will look forward to things later in the summer.

“Timing-wise Royal Ascot will be fine, but we will have to decide whether we want to run there or in other races. We’ll not be rushing into any decision.

“Everything else is good. We are looking forward to what is going to be a great weekend of racing at the Curragh. It is very competitive action and there’s much to look forward to.”

With Al Riffa missing the race, Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean heads the market.

Roberto De Zerbi accepts that some of Brighton’s top talents may not be part of his Seagulls set-up when they take on Europe for the first time next season.

Albion guaranteed themselves at least the Europa Conference League with Sunday’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Southampton, though sixth place and the Europa League are also all-but assured.

What remains less certain are the futures of multiple men who helped make history at the Amex, with Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo among the names linked with summer transfers.

De Zerbi said: “Now we have to organise, we have to build a new squad. We have to organise the new season. We have to finish before, OK, but then we have to organise and we have to build a new squad.

“I think we don’t need too many players but we have to compete in the Europa League. We have to compete in the Premier League because it will be tougher for sure for us.

“I think we will lose some big players, but it’s right, no? Because they deserve to play for other targets in another team, but we have to be ready to bring in other big players with the policy of the club.

“We have to arrive ready to compete in four competitions.”

According to some reports, World Cup winner Mac Allister, who joined Albion in January 2019 on a four-and-a-half-year deal, has already principally agreed a move to Liverpool.

Brighton CEO Paul Barber, however, was quick to dismiss those rumours, telling talkSPORT: “If I lost sleep over every report that I read about one of our players doing that, then I wouldn’t be sleeping very much at all.

“At the moment he’s focused on doing what he can for us in our final two games of the season. We’ve got a massive game here against Manchester City on Wednesday and then we go to Villa Park on Sunday to complete what has been a fantastic season for us.

“I saw him down on the pitch looking very happy and obviously we’d love him to be here next season.

“We know that there are going to be a lot of clubs, not just in this country but around Europe, around the world that are going to be wanting Alexis to play for them.

“But at the moment he is wearing blue and white stripes and I’m delighted about that.”

Southampton boss Ruben Selles was also looking ahead to his club’s future, though what happens to him after the conclusion of the campaign is unclear.

Selles’ agreement also expires at the end of the season, with Swansea boss Russell Martin rumoured to replace him.

The Spaniard handed academy prospects Kamari Doyle and Dom Ballard their league debuts in the relegated Saints’ penultimate Premier League contest, with just Liverpool at St Mary’s left to play.

He said: “I’m looking ahead to what can I do if I’m here or not. And that’s why I can give our players that are coming from the academy all the way into the first team.

“I can get players that are ready to go and perform for the first team and even if it’s some minutes today or against Liverpool, that is a big step for their careers and they just keep the door open for them.”

Jim Goodwin has told his Dundee United players “to not feel sorry” for themselves ahead of the battle with relegation rivals Kilmarnock on Wednesday night.

The Terrors’ boss was dismayed by the goals conceded in the 2-1 defeat at Livingston on Saturday and their third successive loss after three straight wins kept them bottom of the cinch Premiership, two points behind Ross County and three behind Killie, with two fixtures remaining.

After the visit of Kilmarnock, the Tannadice side take on Motherwell at Fir Park in the final fixture of the season on Sunday and Goodwin, who was appointed United manager on a short-term contract in March, stressed positivity to his players at a meeting on Monday.

“The key message was to not feel sorry for ourselves,” said the Irishman, who will make a late decision on Steven Fletcher’s groin injury which kept him out the trip to West Lothian.

“I don’t want to see anyone mumping and moaning about the place.

“I want to see everyone nice and bright which I think I got at training this morning, there was a positive reaction.

“We are not brushing anything under the carpet.

“We have spoken about the mistakes we made on Saturday and we emphasised again the importance of Wednesday in terms of making better decisions in those key moments and if we do that then  we give ourselves a really good chance.

“I don’t think there is a great deal between the two teams.

“I think it will be a close affair again like most of the games in the league are but there is lot of stake for both teams.

“But we have some very good players in that dressing room who are more than capable of turning it on and hopefully we see that on Wednesday.

“Every game since I came through the door has been massively important  and the next one is the most important but Wednesday night is the biggest game of the season.

“We don’t need to over-emphasise what is at stake. We are still in the fight.”

On the eve of the US PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka was asked about the possibility of being selected for the Ryder Cup.

US team captain Zach Johnson had dismissed Koepka’s runner up finish in the Masters as “one good week” and claimed he could not accurately assess the form of LIV players in their own events.

Knowing that performing well in majors was effectively his only chance of impressing Johnson enough to earn one of his six wild cards, Koepka had a simple solution.

“If you go second, first, first, first, it would be kind of tough not to (get a) pick, right? If you go handle business, I feel like I should be fine,” Koepka said.

It sounded an ambitious goal but not any more after Koepka claimed his fifth major title and third US PGA Championship at Oak Hill, holding off a determined Viktor Hovland and a charging Scottie Scheffler to win by two shots.

There may be no need for a wild card now. Koepka has jumped from 22nd to second in the Ryder Cup standings, with the top six qualifying automatically and Johnson selecting six wild cards.

And his place on the team, despite playing on the Saudi-funded LIV circuit, was immediately welcomed by one of the men he had just beaten into second place.

“I want to win the Ryder Cup. I don’t care about tours or anything like that,” Scheffler said.

“It’s something we talked about when we finished (at Whistling Straits) a year and a half ago. We want to beat those guys in Europe. It’s been a long time since we’ve beat them.

“Whoever the best 12 guys are that make a complete team, it’s different than individual tournaments. We want a team of guys that are going over there together to bring the cup back home, and that’s all I really care about.”

Koepka is just the 20th man in history to have won five or more majors, matching the totals of Seve Ballesteros, Peter Thomson, Byron Nelson, JH Taylor and James Braid, the latter pair each winning five Open titles before 1913.

“It’s crazy,” the 33-year-old said. “I try not to think of it right now. I mean, I do care about it. It’s just tough to really grasp the situation kind of while you’re still in it, I think.

“Probably when I’m retired and I can look back with Jena (his wife) and my son and kind of reflect on all that stuff, that will be truly special, but right now I’m trying to collect as many of these things as I can. We’ll see how it goes.”

The chances of Koepka again becoming a dominant force in majors – he won four in eight starts at his peak – looked exceedingly slim as he suffered a number of career-threatening injuries.

He rushed back from surgery after shattering his kneecap in order to compete in the 2021 Masters, but missed the cut and did so again 12 months later, revealing this year at Augusta that had prompted him to try to punch out the back window of his car in frustration.

Koepka also admitted his decision to join LIV would have been harder if he had been fully fit at the time, while confessing on the Netflix documentary ‘Full Swing’ that he would “pay back every dollar I ever made” to regain the feeling of winning a major for another hour.

“It’s very hard to explain,” the former world number one said. “I mean, it was a lot worse than I let on to you guys, let on to everybody. I think maybe only five, six people really know the extent of it, all the pain.

“There’s a lot of times where I just couldn’t even bend my knee. The swelling didn’t go down until maybe a couple months ago, so that’s almost, what, two years? It’s been a long road.

“But look, that’s who I am. I’m open and honest. I know I seem like this big, bad, tough guy on the golf course that doesn’t smile, doesn’t do anything, but if you catch me off the golf course, I’ll let you know what’s going on.”

Asked if he considered retiring when at his lowest ebb, Koepka said: “I don’t know if I considered retiring, but I knew if I couldn’t play the way I wanted to play then I was definitely going to give it up.

“I mean, the thought definitely kind of crossed my mind.”

Oisin Murphy is thrilled to have live chances in both the Betfred Derby and Oaks at Epsom next week as he bids to continue his excellent comeback campaign.

The three-time champion jockey has been in high demand since returning from a 14-month suspension for alcohol and Covid breaches and has already claimed Classic glory aboard the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Mawj in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Murphy has not yet won the Derby or the Oaks – but has high hopes of netting one or both this year with The Foxes and Running Lion respectively.

The Foxes, trained by Andrew Balding, cemented his Derby claims with victory in the Dante Stakes at York last week, while John and Thady Gosden’s Running Lion oozed class when landing Newmarket’s Pretty Polly Stakes and delighted her connections when working over just shy of a mile at Epsom’s Derby Festival Gallops Morning on Monday.

“We were obviously delighted with Running Lion at Newmarket. She came out of the race well and today she went down very relaxed,” said Murphy.

“We jumped off just inside the mile and the idea was not to go mad but to do a sensible bit of work. We let them flow down the hill, maybe from the six-furlong pole round Tattenham Corner.

“Once I got her organised, although she didn’t take too much organising, I let her go forward in the straight but I resisted the temptation to ask her for an effort because I thought the Pretty Polly with a little bit of dig in the ground wasn’t long ago.

“That race would have made sure she was very fit so today was more about having a nice away day and coming here relaxing and going home.”

Murphy is keen to reward the support of those who have supported him since his return to the saddle, adding: “I’m so relieved and thankful to the trainers and the owners since I’ve been back. I’ve ridden for over 40 different trainers in Britain and I think I’m the busiest jockey in England and probably in Europe thanks to them.

“The Foxes was great in the Dante and I heard he was perfect when he trotted up on Friday. Hopefully he has a smooth run between now and the race.

“I’m delighted for his owners (King Power Racing) as they have invested an awful lot of money into the sport and to have a live chance in the Derby is great.

“I’m really happy to be in this position. To have two nice horses to ride in those Classics is fantastic.”

Both Running Lion and The Foxes will head to Epsom with stamina doubts hanging over them with neither having raced beyond a mile and a quarter so far.

Running Lion’s top-class sire Roaring Lion had his limitations exposed in that department when third over a mile and a half in the 2018 Derby, and Murphy admits only time will tell whether it will be the same story for his offspring.

He said: “I don’t know if Running Lion will stay, but no one knows. She might just find the last two furlongs too far, but it would be a nice way to find out in the Oaks if I was still on the bridle approaching the three-furlong market like I was on her sire.

“We don’t know if The Foxes will stay as he is by Churchill and his half-brother Bangkok was a real 10-furlong horse who was by Australia, but it would be nice to find out on the race day.

“Both of them can race a little bit behind the bridle and you can never be 100 per cent certain (they will stay). Going to the start I’m pretty sure neither will waste any energy which is so important as it is a long way down (to the start).”

John Gosden hopes to be double-handed in the Oaks, with Running Lion set to be joined by last week’s Musidora Stakes winner Soul Sister.

The Clarehaven handler does have stamina concerns for Running Lion in particular, but is happy to roll the dice.

He said: “The Musidora winner and this filly are very legitimate trial winners. They won their trials, a Listed and Group Three with authority. They very much belong in the race.

“Stamina-wise you never really know until you go a mile and a half. Everyone thinks it is a downhill track but it rises 150ft before you think about coming down hill and of course that last section where it climbs again at the finish can catch a lot of them out on stamina.

“Both the fillies have a lot of speed. They’re never worked together, but they both won their trials well which is great and I couldn’t be more pleased with the pair of them.

“It’s hard to say until you know with the trip, they’re both bred to be mile-and-a-quarter fillies and the last part is always the key, we don’t know. You can’t practice a race over a mile and a half at home I don’t think.”

Leeds stand on the brink of Premier League relegation after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham.

The Yorkshire club’s three-season stay in the top-flight will be over if they fail to beat Tottenham next Sunday and, depending on other results, victory on the final day might not be enough to save them.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the reasons why it has gone wrong at Elland Road.

Bielsa legacy casts shadow

Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani, former director of football Victor Orta and chief executive Angus Kinnear received huge acclaim when the club ended their 16-year Premier League exile in 2020. They played a masterstroke by handing the keys to the bus to head coach Marcelo Bielsa in 2018, but their legacy was always going to be defined by how they filled the vacuum after sacking him in February 2022. The bus stalled when poor results cost the Argentinian his job. The board has since got most of its key decisions wrong and all the wheels, one by one, have fallen off.

What exactly did the board get wrong?

Bielsa’s successor Jesse Marsch was hailed as a natural replacement, but performances and results did not improve. Leeds survived relegation last season on the final day and when Marsch was sacked in February this year he left the club in a worse position in the table. The board’s failed, ill-conceived bids to hire Rayo Vallecano’s Andoni Iraola and Feyenoord’s Arne Slot led to accusations of panic and, after a fans’ backlash, they also reneged on appointing former Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder. So in came Javi Gracia. The club then admitted they had erred in that decision by parachuting Sam Allardyce into Elland Road with four league games remaining.

Can relegation be blamed solely on the managers?

No. After Leeds defied the odds to finish ninth under Bielsa in their first season back in the top flight, they have failed to sufficiently strengthen their squad. A lack of cover for an injury-prone Patrick Bamford and midfielder Tyler Adams are prime examples. It has also been an imbalanced squad with wide players in abundance, but no depth in other key areas. Some signings since promotion, such as Raphinha, Adams, Luis Sinisterra and Willy Gnonto, have been a success, but too many others have failed to make an impact, while the arrival of club record signing Georginio Rutter has left fans scratching their heads.

Has the ownership issue muddied the waters?

The last-ditch appointment of Allardyce was symptomatic of Leeds’ mis-management and of a club in limbo since the investment arm of San Francisco 49ers increased its stake to 44 per cent at the end of 2021. 49ers Enterprises has an option to own 100 per cent by January next year and the ownership issue has not helped decision-making. Orta’s resignation in protest over Gracia’s sacking has left Leeds without a director of football and, if Allardyce departs as expected, they will be without a long-term head coach. How relegation would affect the takeover remains to be seen, while Radrizzani has been linked with a takeover of Sampdoria. With relegation looming a rudderless ship appears to be heading for the rocks.

Connections of smart filly Bluestocking have not ruled out the possibility she could still run in the Betfred Oaks at Epsom on Friday week.

The daughter of Camelot won a decent Salisbury novice over a mile on her debut in September and made her return in the Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The Ralph Beckett-trained filly was sent off favourite under Rossa Ryan for the 10-furlong contest, but was beaten a head by Warm Heart and Ryan Moore.

A general 12-1 chance for the Oaks, the Juddmonte-owned Bluestocking also holds entries in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and both the Group One Pretty Polly at the Curragh and the Irish Oaks in July.

Barry Mahon, Juddmonte’s European racing manager, said the Epsom door is being kept open.

“Plans are pretty fluid. We’ll see how she comes out of the race,” he said.

“Ralph will decide. It is more unlikely than likely. It is not impossible, but we’ll see how she trains in the next week.

“She is an exciting filly going forward and she ran a good race on Saturday. We are very much not ruling it out, but as we all know, it is probably not an ideal preparation for her.

“If she doesn’t go to Epsom, she will go to the Ribblesdale. Ralph was happy with her on Sunday morning and he said let’s keep an open mind for next week and see what happens, so that’s where we’re at.”

Haskoy, who took the Group Three Al Rayyan Stakes by a short head from Israr on the same card, could head to the Ascot Gold Cup.

Connections are unsure if the four-year-old, who was having her seasonal bow following three runs last term, culminating in a two-length defeat in the St Leger – will get the two-and-a-half-mile trip.

“It was a lovely run,” said Mahon. “She is a lovely mare, so genuine, so tough. We’ll just keep an open mind and will see how she trains, and we’ll think about Gold Cups closer to the time.

“The problem with the Gold Cup is no one really knows, until you actually try it, if you’ll stay.

“Ralph is happy enough that he thinks she’ll stay. Personally, I’m a little bit doubtful, but if it is deemed the right thing to do, we’re game and we’ll give it a go.

“We’re not trying to protect any stud values or anything. If Ralph and Frankie (Dettori) decided it was the right thing to do, we’ll possibly give it a go.

“It is tough for a four-year-old filly who has only had four runs.

“The good thing with her is that she is so genuine, so tough, there is no mental fragility. She is just a tough, genuine mare.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Betfred Derby hopes may be pinned to one horse as he ponders alternative options for his other entrants.

The Ballydoyle trainer’s leading Derby chance is Auguste Rodin, winner of the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes and the Vertem Futurity Trophy as a two-year-old.

The son of Deep Impact is out of a Group One-winning mare in Rhododendron and was the 13-8 favourite for the 2000 Guineas as he started his season on the Rowley Mile.

The race was a totally luckless affair for the colt, however, as he and stablemate Little Big Bear were unplaced after the latter finished lame and the former suffered interference early on.

Epsom on June 3 is still the next step for Auguste Rodin, as the Newmarket run has a line drawn firmly through it.

O’Brien said: “We think what happened was that Little Big Bear got galloped into and he got knocked over on top of Auguste Rodin and wiped him out.

“Then he ended up getting caught in a pocket for a couple of furlongs. It was a bit of a non-event and Ryan (Moore) accepted it.

“We always knew that for him going to the Guineas every single thing was going to have to fall right for him because he is a middle-distance horse.

“Obviously it didn’t and the rest is history. What we are very happy with is the way he came out of the race, he came out of it very well.

“All the signs are very good with him since, so we just put a line through it and look forward on to the Derby because that was always the plan. We’re looking forward to that now.

“There are other horses in it, but I’d imagine he’ll definitely be the main one.”

Among the other horses in question are San Antonio, winner of the Dee Stakes at Chester, and Adelaide River, second in the Chester Vase at the same meeting.

Both hold a Derby entry but may head instead for the French version of the race, the Prix du Jockey Club, at Chantilly on June 4.

“San Antonio, who won in Chester, could go to the French Derby the day after (Epsom) and Adelaide River, who was second in Chester, could go that way as well,” O’Brien said.

“Obviously by far Auguste Rodin is the main horse (for Epsom) and always was.”

Another Ballydoyle entrant is Continuous, last seen finishing third to The Foxes in the Dante at York last week.

Epsom may be too quick a turnaround for the Heart’s Cry colt, with options at Royal Ascot and the Curragh also under consideration.

“Continuous is a horse that hasn’t had a clear run, and had three of four hold-ups. That’s why it’s taken so long to get him out,” O’Brien said.

“He was kind of 75 per cent or a little bit more so he needed to get out and run. That’s why we were really happy with his run, he’s going to progress a lot from there.

“He might be a horse that might like a flat track, I’m not sure, and maybe Epsom is going to come too quick for him. He could be a horse for Ascot or the Curragh.”

Manchester City are celebrating another Premier League title but their season is far from done as they also target FA Cup and Champions League success.

Here, the PA news agency looks at their plans for their coming weeks.

How will Pep Guardiola approach their final two Premier League games?

With the Premier League title race over, City can afford to ease up for their two remaining league games – away to Brighton and Brentford – before switching attention to their two finals.

The line-up for Sunday’s dead rubber against Chelsea, when manager Guardiola named most of his big guns on the bench, showed he intends to lighten his star names’ load. Yet there is also a need to keep players sharp and prevent rustiness.

There may be a clue to his thinking in the line-ups for the two Premier League games immediately prior to the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid. In those matches, against West Ham and Leeds, Guardiola gave all his starting XI against Madrid game time but only one – Erling Haaland – started both. We could see a similar approach with half the first-choice side starting the first game, and the other half the second.

Are there any injury concerns?

City have had a good season in terms of squad fitness with relatively few injuries. Defender Nathan Ake is currently their only sidelined player with a hamstring problem.

The Netherlands international has enjoyed a fine campaign but time is short. He may need to get some action against either Brighton or Brentford to have a chance of starting against Manchester United at Wembley or Inter Milan in Istanbul.

What will the approach to the finals from City be?

Obviously it is hard to make predictions but it is notable that Guardiola named the same side for City’s three biggest games of recent weeks – the crunch Premier League clash with Arsenal and both legs against Real Madrid.

With performance levels in those games outstanding, it would appear he has found his ideal big-match XI. There could be some room for deviation in the FA Cup – for instance Stefan Ortega has been the regular domestic cup starting keeper and Riyad Mahrez’s semi-final hat-trick may earn him another outing – but the side for Istanbul would seem at least pencilled in.

Can Manchester United stop City winning the treble?

United’s fans may view their own team as the best hope of stopping City emulating their famous 1999 treble. City will be firm favourites to win both finals but Manchester derbies can be unpredictable.

City thrashed their neighbours 6-3 in October but United got revenge when they met again at Old Trafford in January. There was some controversy over United’s equaliser in the 2-1 win but the Red Devils proved they can compete with City on a given day.

City, of course, have hit their stride since and United’s mid-season charge has slowed, but Erik ten Hag’s team can shine on a one-off occasion.

Do Inter pose a threat to City?

After thrashing Madrid in the previous round, City seem destined to finally claim the Champions League prize this term. It is difficult to see Inter, currently the fourth best team in Serie A, containing them.

Yet the Italians are defensively strong and do pose a threat through the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and former City striker Edin Dzeko, so they may have a puncher’s chance.

Mark Cavendish will retire from professional cycling at the end of the current season.

Cavendish, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Sunday, made the announcement at a press conference on the rest day of this year’s Giro D’Italia.

The Manxman boasts 53 Grand Tour stage victories and a world title, and is still set to compete at the Tour de France in July, where he could break the record of 34 stage wins he currently shares with Eddy Merckx.

Cavendish said: “I’ve absolutely loved racing every kilometre of this race so far, so I feel it’s the perfect time to say it’s my final Giro d’Italia and 2023 will be my final season as a professional cyclist.

“Yesterday I celebrated my 38th birthday. Like many others I’ve been struggling with sickness during the race as well as the effects of some unfortunate crashes. To get me through, I can’t thank this group of friends enough.

“Cycling has been my life for over 25 years. I have lived an absolute dream and the bike has given me the opportunity to see the world and meet some incredible people.

“It’s taught me so much about life – dedication, loyalty, companionship, teamwork, sacrifice, humility and perseverance – all things that now, as a father, I can show my children.”

British Cycling performance director Stephen Park paid tribute to Cavendish, saying in a statement: “On behalf of British Cycling, I would like to congratulate Mark on a truly outstanding career.

“Cav is without doubt the sport’s greatest sprinter and will be remembered by fans across the world for his 53 Grand Tour stage wins, and I’m sure that we will all be cheering him on as he looks to add to that total in his final months of racing.”

Cavendish won his first world title in the Madison in 2005 in Los Angeles, and within three years had claimed four Tour de France stage wins, as well as two at the Giro d’Italia, to become Britain’s leading Grand Tour cyclist at the age of just 22.

As well as his Grand Tour exploits, Cavendish won a silver medal in the omnium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and gold in the scratch race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, representing the Isle of Man.

Park added: “Professional and passionate, Cav has been a real asset to our team over the years and will be remembered as both a peerless rider and a fantastic teammate with time for everyone.

“We wish him the very best of luck both for the rest of his final season in the peloton and in the next stage of his career.”

Mark Cavendish piled up 161 victories on the road to go with world titles on the track over the course of his illustrious career.

His 34 career Tour de France stage wins are equalled only by Eddy Merckx, while his 53 Grand Tour stage victories put him third in the all-time standings.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at some of his career highlights.

2005

Won the first of his Madison world titles on the track, partnering Rob Hayles after replacing the injured Geraint Thomas.

 

2006
Took gold in the scratch race at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

2007
Moved up to what is now the WorldTour level on the road and took a breakthrough victory at Scheldeprijs.

Finished the season with 11 victories, equalling Alessandro Petacchi’s record for a debut campaign.

2008

Took a second Madison world title, this time with Bradley Wiggins, in Manchester.

 

Won four stages of the Tour de France and two stages of the Giro d’Italia

2009
Became the second Briton to win a Monument with victory in Milan-Sanremo

Won six stages of the Tour, and wore the leader’s jersey for two days at the Giro after taking four stages.

2010
Won five stages of the Tour.

Wore the leader’s red jersey for two stages of the Vuelta a Espana and won the points classification after taking four stages.

2011

Became the second British road race world champion after Tom Simpson with victory in Copenhagen

 

Won five stages of the Tour de France along with the points classification. Wore the leader’s jersey at the Giro and won three stages.

2012
Won three Tour stages, and three stages of the Giro, wearing the leader’s pink jersey for three days.

2013
Won two Tour stage and five Giro stages, wearing the leader’s pink jersey for one day.

Became British national champion.

2015
Won one stage of the Tour.

2016

Won four stages of the Tour, wearing the leader’s yellow jersey for the first time after the opening stage and completing his set of wearing the leader’s jersey in all three grand tours.

 

Became Madison world champion for the third time, winning with Wiggins in London.

Won his first Olympic medal with silver in the omnium.

2021
Tasted victory for the first time in more than three years when he headed a bunch sprint across the line at the Tour of Turkey, the first of four stage wins at the race.

Followed up by winning the final stage of the Belgium Tour, before matching the Tour de France stage wins record when collecting the 34th of his career in Carcassonne on July 9.

2022
Won his 16th Giro d’Italia stage when he sprinted to victory on stage three in Hungary.

Added a second British road title to his career with success in Scotland in June.

There was a time when it seemed like the only person that could beat Mark Cavendish in a sprint was himself.

If he and his lead-out train executed everything according to plan, nobody else stood a chance.

Between 2007 and 2015, the Manx Missile piled up 133 victories, including the 2011 world title, stages of all three Grand Tours, Milan-Sanremo in 2009, and so much more.

He was, quite simply, the greatest sprinter cycling had ever seen.

Drive and determination had taken him from being what he called a “fat banker” – working shifts in a branch of Barclays to fund his racing ambitions – through British Cycling’s academy to the professional ranks at rapid pace.

Having turned professional in 2005, the same year he won the first of his three Madison world titles on the track, Cavendish’s results – coupled with a personal letter written to T-Mobile team boss Bob Stapleton – earned him a move to what is now the WorldTour in 2007.

His first Tour de France ended in frustration, a crash on stage two denying him a chance of victory in Canterbury, but the following summer Cavendish began a period of almost unprecedented domination – 20 Tour stage wins in the span of four years between 2008 and 2011.

The first came on stage five into Chateauroux. Mark Renshaw, who would help Cavendish to 19 of his stage wins, was not yet a team-mate, but Cavendish took his cue anyway, following his lead-out of Thor Hushovd to win with ease, crossing the line holding his head in his hands.

“It’s the biggest thing to happen to me without a doubt,” Cavendish said at the time. “To win a stage is massive.”

It would soon become routine. He took three more that summer despite leaving the race after stage 14 to focus on the Olympics, six in 2009, then five each in 2010 and 2011.

His tongue could be as sharp as he sprints. When things went wrong, Cavendish was never shy about voicing his frustration, but his praise for those around him was just as vociferous when things went right, which more often than not they did.

Such was their domination in 2009, Cavendish won on the Champs-Elysees by a good 30 metres and team-mate Renshaw followed home in a comfortable second place.

After becoming only the second British world champion after Tom Simpson in 2011, Cavendish took his rainbow stripes to Team Sky the following year.

Though back among friends from his early days in Bradley Wiggins and coach Rod Ellingworth, he never jelled with the data-driven approach of the team and would move on after just one season to join Belgian winning machine OmegaPharma-QuickStep.

With a lead-out train built to his specifications he rewarded his employers with regular victories but nevertheless found himself being questioned as Marcel Kittel emerged as a formidable rival at the Tour.

There was frustration in 2014 when he crashed in his mother’s home town of Harrogate, ending his race on the opening stage, and though he added another stage win in 2015 it was Andre Greipel who dominated the sprints that year.

A fresh start at Team Dimension Data in 2016 led to four stage wins and a day in the yellow jersey, but things began to turn in 2017 with the first diagnosis of the Epstein-Barr virus in April.

A series of crashes and other setbacks followed, and many feared Cavendish would never again be seen at the top.

Non-selection for the 2019 Tour was part of an acrimonious end to his time with Dimension Data, but a reunion with Ellingworth at Bahrain-McLaren was never allowed to flourish as the coronavirus pandemic ripped up the 2020 schedule.

But when he signed a last-minute deal with Deceuninck-QuickStep for 2021, there was time for another fairytale.

Sam Bennett’s knee injury opened the door for Cavendish to ride the Tour de France, and he wound back the clock with four victories that saw him join Eddy Merckx with a record 34 stage wins in cycling’s biggest race.

The collapse of the B&B Hotels team in December left him scrambling for a contract once more but Astana-Qazaqstan stepped in to keep Cavendish in the peloton.

Although he chose the day after his 38th birthday to announce his coming retirement, Cavendish will get one more shot at the Tour and taking that stage record outright in July.

It may be a long one. Younger rivals have emerged and Astana have little sprint pedigree. But Cavendish has defied the odds before. Bet against him at your peril.

Mark Cavendish has announced he will retire from professional cycling at the end of the current season.

Cavendish, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Sunday, made the announcement at a press conference on the rest day of the Giro d’Italia.

Cavendish said: “I’ve absolutely loved racing every kilometre of this race so far, so I feel it’s the perfect time to say it’s my final Giro d’Italia and 2023 will be my final season as a professional cyclist.”

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