The news was first announced by Sky Sports News and confirmed by Team Sky on their website. Sky's Dave Brailsford said, "Mark has been a true champion for Team Sky this year. It’s been an honour having the rainbow jersey in this team and great to work so closely with a rider I’ve known since he was a junior. He has been a real team player, making history in a Tour de France winning team."
Although just one season into a three-year contract with Team Sky, Cavendish admitted before the Tour of Britain that he was considering leaving the British team. Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford had hinted Cavendish could leave after the Tour de France.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep has made little secret of its desire to add Cavendish to their roster, with support from bike sponsor Specialized. On Tuesday the Belgian team sacked Levi Leipheimer following his doping confession to USADA.
Cavendish was responsible for 15 of Team Sky’s 50 victories in 2012 but felt overshadowed by the team’s focus on overall victory at the Tour de France with Bradley Wiggins. He will join-up with many of his former HTC teammates and staff at Omega Pharma-Quickstep in 2013 and share team leadership with Tom Boonen and Tony Martin.