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Stage 3 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) at the post-race press conference.
Signing of British star broadens team's international profile
"After a year of being part of the successes at Team Sky, I've decided to leave to join Omega Pharma - QuickStep Cycling Team to pursue different goals," said Cavendish.
"It's been an incredibly fun year riding with friends I've grown up with but I'm super excited about riding with old friends and teammates in one of the most successful and established teams in cycling. I believe in the team's project and I’m thrilled to be a part of it."
In 2012, Cavendish won two stages of the Tour of Qatar, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, two stages of Tirreno - Adriatico, three stages of the Giro d'Italia, the general classification in the Ster ZLM Tour, three stages of the Tour de France, one stage of the Tour of Denmark and three stages in the Tour of Britian.
Omega Pharma - QuickStep team owner Mr. Zdenek Bakala said, "Mark is one of the most outstanding riders in cycling, a true star recognized internationally for his unique style and irrefutable athletic skills. His extraordinary sprint have become a cycling 'must-see' that can fire up crowds the world over."
Delighted with his new rider, Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said, "Mark is the best sprinter in the world and one of the all time best sprinters ever. With his arrival, the team will be even more balanced and it will be enriched with another top rider, who will become the man to count on in the sprint, just as Tony Martin is the point man for the time trial and Tom Boonen the best rider for the Nnorthern Classics. Mark will also find a time-tested technical staff on the team, as well as high calibre athletes eager to work with him to reach new, grand goals together."
"In addition to raising the technical bar for the team, his arrival will broaden our international profile and team image. Mark is an important player in the gradual growing process in which the team has invested. This year our hard work and commitment have already taken us among the best teams in the world in the UCI rankings and carried us to victory in the team time trial world championships."