Following the news that Quick-Step AlphaVinyl have apparently agreed a deal to bring Alpecin-Fenix sprinter Tim Merlier on board for the next two seasons, Mark Cavendish has said he intends to continue his career for at least two more years.
While that’s unlikely to be with Patrick Lefevere’s squad due to the arrival of Merlier, Jakobsen signed to the end of 2023 and Cavendish only on a one-year deal, the British sprinter’s representatives have apparently been instructed to shop around for a new home for the rider who will turn 37 this weekend.
“At least two others,” Cavendish told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked how much longer he intends to race professionally for. “And it’s not that I want to continue just to ride in the bunch. I can be competitive for at least another two years. Maybe even more, but I’m sure about the two. I know for sure.”
Fighting talk from the winner of 34 Tour de France stages facing another contract year.
Having already won a stage at this year’s Giro and proven time again his place at the top of the sport, Cavendish says the Italian Grand Tour isn’t how he remembers, no longer raced slowly before a very fast finale. Instead, it’s more in line with the physical demands of the Tour de France, which the Manxman says he’d love to race this summer.
Quick-Step AlphaVinyl will likely take Fabio Jakobsen to the French Grand Tour, but Mark Cavendish says he will always be prepared for the race in case the team calls on him to go, as they did last year.
“Of course, I would love to do it,” Cavendish said. “But I’m a professional, I always have been, and I do what the team asks of me. I will always be prepared to do the Tour, but it’s not my decision. I think, I just do my job.”
“The dream for my career is to be in the book with all the greats in history,” Cavendish added when asked how he’d like to be remembered when his career is over, whether that’s in two years or more. “I want to be part of it, along with the myths I grew up with. I would be happy just to be able to be named next to them in the same sentence. I am satisfied with my career, I have continued to win for over 16 years, a longevity with few equals.”
An appetite not yet fully sated. Despite the satisfaction, Cavendish’s message is clear: he’s not going anywhere.