Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) wins stage 3 of the 2022 Giro d'Italia.

Cavendish looks set to challenge the Merckx record with Astana-Qazaqstan in 2023

Mark Cavendish was one of the many riders left desperately seeking a team for 2023 after the collapse of B&B Hotels.

by Kit Nicholson

photography by Cor Vos

La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Mark Cavendish and Astana-Qazaqstan have reached an agreement for 2023, both parties aiming to make history at the Tour de France next summer by beating Merckx’s record number of stage wins once and for all – the Manxman having equalled the tally of 35 victories in a highly memorable 2021 Tour.

Cavendish is apparently set to join his new teammates in Calpe on Monday for the end of their December training camp. While there he’ll be fitted for his new bike and kit, and presumably catch the recording of this year’s highly anticipated rap video.

The Italian paper also said that Cees Bol, another of the riders destined for the B&B Hotels team that subsequently fell apart, would ride in turquoise next season, bolstering the Kazakh team’s sprint group. However, the Dutch fast man would put Alexander Vinokourov’s team over the 30-rider maximum stipulated by the UCI, so there may be more to this.

The team itself is yet to confirm the news, so check back for updates.

This story is still unfolding…

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