Mark Cavendish’s fourth stage win at the 2008 Tour makes him the only rider in the current peloton to have achieved this feat. Alessandro Petacchi managed it in 2003, but is serving a doping suspension.

But where does this put Cavendish in the all-time list of stage winners in a single Tour?

Although many riders have won five or more stages in a single Tour, the majority were in pre-war races. Counting postwar Tours, riders have won five or more stages on only 16 different occasions.

But Cavendish is still in exalted company. He’s equalled Lance Armstrong’s performance in the 1999, 2001 and 2002 Tours, Bernard Hinault in 1981 and Eddy Merckx in 1971. If he surprises us, and sticks around to the end of the race, another win will put him only three behind the all-time record of eight, jointly held by Eddy Merckx, Freddy Maertens and Charles Pélissier.

STAGE WINS IN A SINGLE TOUR
Postwar wins in bold

Eight stages

Freddy Maertens 1976
Eddy Merckx 1970, 1974

Charles Pélissier 1930

Seven stages

Bernard Hinault 1979
Eddy Merckx 1969
Gino Bartali 1948

Six stages

Luis Ocana 1973
Eddy Merckx 1972

Réné Le Grevès 1936
André Leducq 1932
Jean Aerts 1933
Marcel Buysse 1913
François Faber 1909
Emile Georget 1907

Five stages

Mark Cavendish 2009
Lance Armstrong 2004
Laurent Fignon 1984
Bernard Hinault 1981
Freddy Maertens 1981
Didi Thurau 1977
Andre Darrigade 1958
Fausto Coppi 1952
Hugo Koblet 1951

Roger Lapébie 1934
Georges Speicher 1934
Learco Guerra 1933
Raffaele Di Paco 1931
Charles Pélissier 1931
André Leducq 1929
Nicolas Frantz 1928
Philippe Thys 1922
Jean Alavoine 1919
Lucien Petit-Breton 1908
Réné Pottier 1906
Louis Trousselier 1905

Four stages

Mark Cavendish 2008
A. Petacchi 2003
Lance Armstrong 2002, 2001, 1999
Mario Cipollini 1999
Tom Steels 1998
J-P Van Poppel 1988
Bernard Hinault 1982
Cyrille Guimard 1972
Eddy Merckx 1971
Jacques Anquetil 1964, 1963
Edward Sels 1964
Rik Van Looy 1963
Andre Darrigade 1961
Jean Graczyk 1960
Charly Gaul 1958
R. Hassenforder 1956

M. Archambaud 1939
Félicien Vervaecke 1938
Eloi Meulenberg 1937
Sylvère Maes 1936
Jean Aerts 1935
René Le Grevès 1935, 1934
René Vietto 1934
Raffaele Di Paco 1932
Learco Guerra 1930
André Leducq 1928
Nicolas Frantz 1926, 1925
Ottavia Bottecchia 1925, 1924
Louis Mottiat 1921
Philippe Thys 1920
Honoré Berthélemy 1919
Paul Duboc 1911
Octave Lapize 1910
François Faber 1908
Louis Trousselier 1906