Reports in Belgium continue to link Mark Cavendish to Omega Pharma-QuickStep for the coming season, but Geert Coeman, Finance Director at Omega Pharma-QuickStep has made it clear the Belgian team will fully respect UCI rules about rider transfer and contracts as they await Cavendish.
Cavendish has indicated he will leave Team Sky at the end of this season, although he has a valid contract for 2013 and 2014. UCI rules say that a rider cannot talk to a third party until both he and his team have notified the UCI and received permission to do so.
"We do not know whether Sky and Cavendish have already taken steps in that direction," Coeman is reported as saying by Gazet van Antwerpen. "As long as the release is not there, we can not start official talks with Cavendish."
The Belgian newspaper further said that Bernhard Eisel would be expected to accompany Cavendish, and indicated that Team Sky may be willing to accept less than the rumoured 1.2 million Euro contract buyout.
In addition, Gazet said that Team Sky “has its eye on a talented young rider” currently on the team, believed to be Briton Andrew Fenn, raising the possibility of a “trade” of riders plus a financial settlement. Fenn joined Omegab PHamra-QuickStep this year and won two races at the Challegne in February. Omega Pharma-Quick Step extended Fenn's contract until 2014 in late August.