Cavendish and Lefevere have yet to agree on terms for a new deal

Deceuninck-QuickStep has reportedly made Mark Cavendish an offer but talks are ongoing.

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Deceuninck-QuickStep has reportedly offered Mark Cavendish a deal for 2022, but nothing has been signed as rider and team have not agreed on terms.

According to Het Nieuwsblad, Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere made an offer to Cavendish during the Tour of Britain. Het Nieuwsblad reports, however, that the Belgian WorldTour outfit and the 36-year-old Manxman are still “far apart” on some things in the proposed deal, while Lefevere described the “difficult” nature of agreeing on terms in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws.

Specifically, Cavendish and the team have not come to an accord on his proposed salary, and Cavendish is also reportedly seeking assurances about racing next year’s Tour de France.

Cavendish, who is tied with Eddy Merckx for the all-time lead in Tour de France stage wins, joined Deceuninck-QuickStep at the start of this season on a one-year deal. He had previously ridden for the organization from 2013 to 2015, and then rode with Dimension Data for four seasons before spending 2020 with Bahrain-McLaren. His return to Lefevere’s squad came after after several years with limited results; when he made his first start with the team, it had been just over three years since his last pro win in February of 2018.

Cavendish put up some strong showings early on this season however, winning four stages at the Tour of Turkey, and then took a win ahead of a solid sprint field at the Baloise Belgium Tour in June. When Sam Bennett was scratched from the Deceuninck-QuickStep Tour de France roster, Cavendish was slotted in to the lineup, and he went on to take four stage victories at the race, tying Merckx’s all-time record. As such, a year after saying that he might have to retire, Cavendish now finds himself sorting out his contract situation for 2022.

Het Nieuwsblad reports that a deal with Deceuninck-QuickStep would largely be structured around bonuses, but that the talks have been “difficult” lately as both sides have been unable to agree on terms.

“He’s now starting to talk to me about his image,” Lefevere said, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. “He says, ‘Because of my image I am worth so much.’ I say, ‘Your image in London is different from your image in West Flanders, with all due respect.’ None of my West-Flemish sponsors are going to make amends to pay Mark Cavendish a higher wage for his image.”

The Tour de France is another point of contention. After his four-win performance in this year’s race, Cavendish might seem like an obvious choice to lead the team in the French Grand Tour in 2022, but Deceuninck-QuickStep had been planning to give more opportunities to Fabio Jakobsen, who recently won three stages at the Vuelta a España but has yet to make his Tour debut.

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