Cavendish Pens New Deal Amid Horror Crash
Belgian UCI team Deceuninck Quick-Step have announced today that Mark Cavendish has signed a one-year contract extension.
After rejoining the team at the start of this year, the legendary sprinter enjoyed a spectacular resurgence in form, clinching four stage victories at the Tour de France and walking away with his second career green jersey. This moved him level with the great Eddy Merckx on overall Tour de France stage victories.
Although a late and surprising inclusion in the team’s roster, he started the year in typical Cavendish fashion, winning stage 2 of the Tour of Turkey, where he would go on to rack up three more victories. This was followed by a win on the final stage of the Belgium Tour.
Although he was widely expected to sign a contract extension following the Ghent Six event at the end of last month, Cavendish was rushed to hospital after a horrific crash which left him with two broken ribs and a punctured lung. While there was some doubt over whether his team would indeed renew his contract, CEO Patrick Lefevere assured the public that his health would take precedence over negotiations, although there was still plans to keep him in their roster.
In a statement released by Deceuninck Quick-Step, Mark Cavendish commented on his latest contract renewal; “I am incredibly proud and happy to have agreed a new deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. One year ago, when I came to the team, I did not hide my admiration for what this team does and how happy I was to be back here.
“I knew from my first time here that this squad has a unique family feeling, and it is a culture that remains to this day. The last 12 months have been phenomenal and the support that I have had from the team and the staff has made me very emotional at times. I am really looking forward to making some more special memories together over the next 12 months.”
CEO Patrick Lefevere was also delighted to see the 36-year-old remain in the team for the upcoming season.
“The whole world saw what he did this year. What they didn’t see though is the way that he speaks and leads within the team and encourages everyone – we have a very close group here and Mark always embodies that spirit, and while he may be the one that crosses the line with his hands in the air, he is the first to recognise the work that the team does as well, which means a lot to everyone. We are more than happy that we can continue the story with Mark for one more year.”
After struggling with depression and Epstein-Barr syndrome for several years, it is good to see arguably the greatest sprinter of all time back amongst the heavyweights, and who knows, we may see the all time Tour de France stage victory record broken by the man himself in 2022.