In an upcoming interview with Procycling Magazine, Bernhard Eisel says that it was the right time for HTC-Highroad to call it a day. The team announced in August that they were unable to find a new title sponsor and would leave cycling at the end of the current year. Eisel, along with sprinter Mark Cavendish, moved to Team Sky for 2012.
“I think that [team owner] Bob [Stapleton] was probably right in the end to call it quits. They could probably have kept it going for one more year but it didn’t make sense, as a WorldTour team, to be on the financial limit like that,” Eisel said.
The Austrian, 30, signed for T-Mobile in 2007 at the same time as Cavendish and the pair struck up a bond that has seen them ride together and become roommates at races.
Having seen Cavendish develop into the world’s leading sprinter, Eisel is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to advising Cavendish on his future. And in the Procycling interview, Eisel says that Cavendish should avoid challenging for races like the Tour of Flanders.
“I don’t think there’s much point,” he said
“I mean, now we’re going to Sky and it’s not going to be a one-man show any more: he’ll be the number one sprinter, no question, but at HTC he wanted to ride the Classics partly so that he could help out early in the race, whereas at Sky there are better people to do that. Cav’s a leader: he doesn’t have to help in other races. Also, if he tries to change too much for the Classics he’ll just lose his speed. As for me, it’ll take a bit of time to figure out what my role will be in the Classics, but I think I’ll be a protected rider. Whatever happens, it’s simple for me – I know I’ll have to be in top condition for those races.”
The January issue of Procycling goes on sale on December 1. You can subscribe here.