Patrick Lefevere has all but confirmed that Mark Cavendish will leave Etixx QuickStep at the end of the season. The British sprinter has refused to entertain speculation over his future, recently telling the Cyclingnews podcast that, “I’ll tell you the truth that I don’t know right now. There’s not much to talk about, there’s not much there. Hopefully there’s something there in the next few weeks.”
“More than saying I know something and I can’t tell, I really don’t know. Hopefully I have a job next year.”
Lefevere signed Cavendish at the end of the 2012 and the rider has been a consistent winner for the Belgian squad ever since. However the team’s budget has reportedly been lowered and along with that, Lefevere has brought in a number of new signings, including Daniel Martin and Bob Jungels.
Lefevere confirmed that his last meeting with Cavendish’s representatives was during the Tour de France and he has told Cyclingnews that "I think that it's 90 per cent chance that he leaves us. I have not met his agent since the Tour and there is no contract on the table.”
Cavendish has been repeatedly linked to a number of teams including Trek Factory Racing but most prominently MTN. The South African team have already lost Louis Meintjes to Lampre Merida and it’s understood that Cavendish will bring Mark Renshaw, also expected to leave Etixx QuickStep, with him. MTN Qhubeka have kept their cards close to their chest and have not yet announced their full sponsorship programme for 2016. The team have insinuated that Cavendish could join them if he were to bring another sponsor on board.
Listen to this week's Cyclingnews podcast, with the full Cavendish interview, below or download it to your device from iTunes, and click here to subscribe to the podcast so you get it first.