Mark Cavendish inches closer to becoming a Man in Glaz

Reports continue to tie Cavendish to B&B Hotels - KTM.

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Mark Cavendish remains the highest-profile rider without a contract for 2023 but a deal with B&B Hotels – KTM appears to be creeping ever closer.

Rumours have long swirled that Jérôme Pineau’s ProTeam squad would be the new home of the British sprinter but the latest whispers from the Dutchmen over at Wielerflits appears conclusive: B&B Hotels’ squad recently got together to try on next year’s kit, AND Mark Cavendish was present.

It appears the t’s have been crossed and the i’s dotted on a contract for Cavendish to continue racing into next year, with Ouest France also reporting that it will be a 1-year deal with an option for a second year that would see the Manxman riding professionally until he’s at least 39 years old.

Cavendish’s signature would all but guarantee B&B Hotels a place on the start line of next year’s Tour de France, which will become increasingly competitive as the relegated Israel-Premier Tech hope Chris Froome’s name alone can see them invited for the Grand Départ in Bilbao in light their loss of an automatic invite.

Questions have been asked as to whether B&B Hotels have the squad to support a sprinter of Cavendish’s stature, but Ouest France also suggests Ramon Sinkeldam and Max Richeze are inbound to bolster the squad’s lead-out capabilities, while sprinter Cees Bol could also arrive from DSM.

To finance this, Pineau is set to receive fresh funds. The supermarket chain Carrefour was believed to be the identity of the new major title sponsor but Wielerflits now believe the French subsidiary of Amazon could be stepping on board. Cue Cavendish celebrating by pretending to knock on your door and deliver a parcel when he crosses the line in a throwback to his phone to the ear days at HTC-Colombia.

B&B Hotels, it is important to say, deny that any of this is happening. But there is a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, October 26. Should none of this be formally announced it could make for one of the most disappointing press conferences cycling has ever seen.

If the reports hold up, then Mark Cavendish can begin preparing himself for months of questions regarding whether he thinks he’ll be able to win another stage of the Tour de France to take him clear of Eddy Merckx and become the rider with the most Tour stage wins at a total of 35.

As well as the guarantee of a spot at the Tour, Pineau also gets the chance of the record being broken in his team’s colours. Despite new sponsors coming on board, we can presume the ‘Glaz’ that gives the ‘Men in Glaz’ their nickname will stay the same.

For those that need an explainer: “Glaz is a colour, indeed,” B&B Hotels told CyclingTips a couple of years ago. “The same colour as the sea in Brittany. Between green and blue, depending on the weather, the season, the time of the day. Glaz is our jersey’s colour, obviously. A proper English translation would be… ‘Glaz’ [winky face]”.

All signs point towards Cavendish becoming the latest Man in Glaz, a nickname he will no doubt reference (as he has the Wolfpack many times during his second stint with Quick-Step) in his post-win interview when he crosses the finish line to take number 35. And ‘Glaz’ will no doubt sound glorious in his Manx accent.

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