With him winning four stages in the Tour de France and the green jersey as a bonus, Mark Cavendish’s return to the Deceuninck-Quick Step was a fairy tale. The Briton did not hide the fact that he was not yet thinking about a cycling pension.
Negotiations went on for a long time, but last week there was white smoke after all. “Marc wanted an extension of his fairy tale and I didn’t want to take it away from him,” said team boss Patrick Lefevre.
Today, the Briton put his scribbles under a new contract. “I am very proud and happy with this new deal,” he says. “A year ago, I did not hide my admiration for this team and how happy I am to be back.”
“I knew from my first term that this team has a homely feel and it still feels that way today. The past 12 months have been exceptional and the support from the team and staff has made me very emotional at times.”
“I’m really looking forward to making some special memories together in the coming months.”
Cavendish equaled Eddie Merckx’s record 34 stage wins on the Tour, but the Briton is undoubtedly looking for his 35th win. The question is whether Lefevere will continue to take him with him on his tour team.
Team boss Patrick Lefevre also emphasized the special role Cavendish plays within the team. “Everyone has seen what he did last year,” he says.
“But what they haven’t seen is the way Cavendish leads the team and cheers everyone up. We have a tight-knit group and Cavendish shows that too. He might cross the line with his arms raised, but he will be the first to know how much work the team is putting in. We’re glad Mark’s story continues.”
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