Mark Cavendish has agreed a year-long contract extension to stay on at Deceuninck-QuickStep after months of negotiation.
Cavendish’s involvement was due to come to an end with the current campaign, but he stepped in as a late replacement for Sam Bennett at the Tour de France.
An impressive showing there, equalling Eddy Merckx’s record 34 stage wins with two of his own, came off the back of a resurgent showing at smaller tournaments from the Isle of Man veteran.
Tour de France
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Team head Patrick Lefevere was at the heart of the disagreement between the team and Irish rider Bennett, and while he praised his 36-year-old substitute for his efforts, he had been sceptical of Cavendish’s wish to remain at the team in 2023 to step into a managerial role.
On Tuesday, Deceuninck revealed “Quick-Step can announce that Mark Cavendish will stay with the team for one more season.
After rejoining them at the start of 2021 in what turned out to be a history-making season, Mark is now in his second spell with the Wolfpack, a period that has so far seen him win for the first time in three years, take the Tour de France by storm in winning four stages and the Green Jersey, and equalling the record for the most stage wins at the famous race.
"Coming into the 2021 edition, he had already won 30 stages at the world’s most famous race, and after his late call up to the team he came in with the eyes of the world looking on him curiously. Ever the showman, Cav would not disappoint, by taking an emotional victory on stage 4 in Fougères, which brought tears to the eyes of fans around the world. He would follow that up by taking three more stage victories, which made him the joint record holder for Tour de France stage victories, alongside the great Eddy Merckx, and the first rider to win at least four stages in six different editions of the race."
Cavendish said of the renewal: “I am incredibly proud and happy to have agreed a new deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. One year ago, when I came to the team, I did not hide my admiration for what this team does and how happy I was to be back here. I knew from my first time here that this squad has a unique family feeling, and it is a culture that remains to this day.
"The last 12 months have been phenomenal and the support that I have had from the team and the staff has made me very emotional at times. I am really looking forward to making some more special memories together over the next 12 months."
Lefevere added: “The whole world saw what he did this year. What they didn’t see though is the way that he speaks and leads within the team and encourages everyone – we have a very close group here and Mark always embodies that spirit, and while he may be the one that crosses the line with his hands in the air, he is the first to recognise the work that the team does as well, which means a lot to everyone. We are more than happy that we can continue the story with Mark for one more year.”
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