Messi, Bolt, Mayweather: Sport's greatest records as Cavendish speaks on Tour de France history

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Over the decades, we have seen several great sportspeople excel in their respective fields and leave behind legacies that are nearly impossible to match.

Several athletes have dazzled throughout their careers, bringing joy to millions while also cementing their status as all-time greats.

Many great sportspeople have scripted unbelievable records which will be near impossible to equal, let alone surpass.

Recently, legendary Tour de France sprinter Mark Cavendish sat down on the High Performance Podcast to chat through a record of his own that he equalled earlier this year.

As an unexpected late-comer to the tour, Cavendish would go on to enjoy an incredibly fruitful fortnight, finally equalling the record for the most stage wins in cycling's showpiece event.

He would claim four stage victories to pull level with one of the greeting sporting records of all time (34).

It saw him join an exclusive club of some of sports most incredible record holders, with our top ten listed below.

MARK CAVENDISH - 34 Tour de France stage wins 

Chatting on the podcast, Cavendish was asked whether he really thought he could equal Eddy Merckx's record, replying:

"I wouldn't have gone if I didn't think I could be competitive and if I didn't think I could win. I always strive to win. I'm quite realistic when I'm going into something.

"Obviously I wasn't the number one sprinter in my team and I was happy not to have the pressure of the whole team on my shoulders.

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"I could get back without that pressure. I could do what I wanted to do and choose how I was going to win bike races. I could be a kid again riding my bike.

"There was already talk a couple of weeks before that Sam Bennett - the number one sprinter in the team - had got a sore knee and I was like: 's***, I might go to the Tour de France,' so I went to Italy on a training camp for 10 days.

"I hadn't prepared for the tour. I hadn't done any climbs. Even the team said: 'don't bother going, he'll be alright,' and I was like: 'if he doesn't go, I'm not going to be ready for the tour, but I need to be as ready as I possibly can be.'

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"Anyway, I went out to Italy just trying to lose some weight for it. I knew my sprint was there, but the Tour de France is about more than just sprinting, so that's what I went out there to prepare.

"I knew I'd be there or thereabouts. Physically, I knew that I could win a stage and it wouldn't be luck that I won, but it's the Tour de France, it's not one versus one, there are so many variables that can happen.

"But then when I won the first one, I knew that I'd win multiple after that. When you're with your competitors, then you can really know how you're going compared to them and then you know how much you can succeed."

FLOYD MAYWEATHER - 50-0-0 boxing record

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Yes there have been fighters who've won more bouts than Money but hardly anyone has had a perfect win record.

Some of the best boxers of Mayweather's time tried to beat him but were unsuccessful.

WILT CHAMBERLAIN - 100 points in a single NBA game

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul Jabbar all scored a bucket-load of points during their illustrious careers but none of them managed to get 100 points in a single NBA game, something Chamberlain achieved in 1962 against the New York Knicks while representing Philadelphia Warriors.

JAHANGIR KHAN - 555 professional squash matches won in a row

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Enter giveaway

The greatest squash player of all time and a six-time world champion, JK won 555 professional matches in a row, a feat that will certainly take a great deal of time to be bettered, in the sport or any other.

DREW BREES - 80,538 passing yards

Arguably the best quarterback of all time, Brees was exceptionally good with the ball, passing 80,538 yards.

Read more: The High Performance Podcast hub

He also has 7142 passing completions which is an NFL record with an incredible completion percentage of 67.7%

LIONEL MESSI - 91 goals in a calendar year

The Argentine magician has maintained an insane amount of consistency throughout his career, winning 6 Ballon d'Ors.

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However, netting 91 goals in 2012 is something hardly any other player will be able to attain. At this moment, Erling Haaland seems perhaps the best bet to equal that tally.

DON BRADMAN - 99.94 Test average

Sachin Tendulkar, Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara are all great batsmen but none of them had a Test batting average of 99.94.

The more one looks at Bradman's record, the more they'll say "I wish he scored those four runs in his final innings."

MICHAEL PHELPS - 23 Olympic gold medals

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The American swimmer is the most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals, 23 of those being gold.

It will certainly take a while for any athlete to come even close to matching that tally.

USAIN BOLT - 100m in 9.58 seconds

Tyson Gay is the greatest sprinter to have walked the face of planet Earth because Usain Bolt was out of this world.

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100m in 9.58 seconds? Insane.

BRIAN LARA - 501 not out

Brian Lara's mammoth ton for Warwickshire in 1994 is almost impossible to surpass. Not only did he score that many, he did so in only 427 balls which is a strike rate of 117.

The Prince of Trinidad broke a 35-year-old record through his performance.

For more incredibly insightful interviews with elite sportsmen, women and entrepreneurs, make sure you subscribe to the High Performance Podcast on iTunes.

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