Mark Cavendish with a ‘big year’ ahead but still no news on his future
Cavendish's future after Quick-Step exit remains unknown with B&B boss Jérôme Pineau’s new project at center of contract speculation.
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Mark Cavendish’s team for next year has yet to be announced with the British rider having finished his service at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl earlier in October.
The British rider has been linked with a number of teams since Patrick Lefevere confirmed that he would not re-sign the veteran sprinter. However, no team has yet announced Cavendish’s signature, while the rider himself has remained tightlipped on the matter.
Both EF Education-EasyPost and Trek Segafredo have distanced themselves from the move after initial interest and discussions. On Friday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert told VeloNews that it too had shown interest in signing Cavendish but that he was off the transfer market when they turned their attention towards him.
In a recent Instagram post Cavendish told his followers, “It’s the off-season, I’ve finished racing but I don’t want to put the bike away too quickly as I’ve got a big year next year.”
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The team that Cavendish has been linked with consistently for 2023 is B&B Hotels p/b KTM boss Jérôme Pineau’s new Paris project. The former French rider told the media back in September that signing Cavendish was a “50-50” prospect but that “it was complicated.”
Details remain thin on the ground and little is known about the final roster or the financial backing behind the revamped Paris team.
However, VeloNews has learned two important details in the last two days. Firstly the team has confirmed that it has applied for a ProTeam license and that it meets the UCI’s deadline for the bank guarantee. This would indicate, although not completely confirm, that the team has the required finances for the coming season. The UCI must now sift through the paperwork before deciding whether to approve, reject or postpone the application.
It’s understood that the team will race on BMC bikes.
There are also indications that a team event will take place later this month. One rider linked to the team told VeloNews to “contact them after October 26.”
No date has been announced by the team but the Tour de France presentation takes place on October 27, in Paris. Cavendish is then set to travel to ASO races in Singapore and Tokyo as part of an ASO-organized trip.
Most of the riders on the men’s roster at B&B Hotels are expected to remain on the team under its new sponsors but no announcement has been made over the potential signings.
Pineau has indicated previously that he has five WorldTour riders signed for next year.
Among them are Cees Bol and Nick Shultz. They both share the same rider agent, and during this year Cavendish also enlisted the services of the same agency as he scouted around for a new team.
Sébastien Reichenbach had been linked with a possible move to the team, although when contacted by VeloNews he stated that although he would be leaving Groupama-FDJ, he would not be linking up with Pineau’s team.