Tom Boonen has said that he would welcome the arrival of Mark Cavendish at his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team next season. Cavendish has hinted that he may leave Sky this winter due to the limited manpower the team has been able to devote his sprint train and Omega Pharma-QuickStep has been widely touted as a potential destination.
“Cavendish and I have had a few clashes but there has always been mutual respect,” Boonen told Het Nieuwsblad. “I would even like to lead out some sprints for him.”
Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere has made no secret of his desire to bring Cavendish to his team and he has discussed the matter with Boonen in recent weeks. Boonen is confident that he and Cavendish could dovetail their efforts, as his own sprinting is largely limited to reduced bunch finishes at the end of more selective races.
“During the Tour of Denmark, Patrick Lefevere asked me what I thought about it,” Boonen said. “Well, in nine out of the ten sprints that I would contest, Cavendish would not normally be there any more, and I don’t mind leading out the other sprints.
“I’d even be happy to. It’s much more fun when you are on the Tour de France when you know someone on the team can win three or four stages.”
In any case, by Boonen’s estimation, he and Cavendish would rarely line up on the same Omega Pharma-QuickStep team outside of the month of July. “Mark is welcome,” he said. “If he comes, we wouldn’t ride together much anyway. In the Tour, yes, but the rest?”