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Mark Cavendish: I want to stay at Deceuninck-QuickStep but it's not up to me

Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has voiced his desire to continue racing in 2022, and to do so in the colours of Deceuninck-QuickStep, but he indicated the decision is out of his hands as negotiations rumble on. 

The Manxman has made a stirring comeback in QuickStep blue this season, returning to winning ways after three barren years and after appearing close to retirement at the end of 2020. 

He signed for the Belgian team on a one-year contract and a fraction of the pay he received when he last rode for them between 2013 and 2015, even bringing forward a sponsor to help fund his spot on the squad. 

However, with nine wins this season, including four at the Tour de France, his market value will no doubt have shot up, and his career outlook will have shifted again. 

"At the beginning of the year I thought it was my last season. I wasn't looking for a fairytale. I knew I was still good, but you also have to show it in the race. In the end it turned out to be a fairytale," Cavendish said during a weekend press conference at the Tour of Britain. 

"After this year it would be easy to say I'm done, because there is a risk that I won't win next year, but I believe I can stay at this level, and I believe I can get even better. 

"I'm no longer head and shoulders above the rest, and that's why I want to continue racing. I've lost races this year - that never happened before. This year I won a lot, but I also often finished second or third. I want to go back to that level where I don't lose anymore. I believe it is possible."

Having waxed lyrical about being back at Deceuninck-QuickStep this season, giving them huge credit for his renaissance, Cavendish voiced his desire to continue with the team next year. However, he hinted the decision lay with team manager Patrick Lefevere. 

QuickStep are waving goodbye to star sprinter Sam Bennett next year, as well as Alvaro Hodeg, so there appears to be space for another fast finisher, even if Fabio Jakobsen has made his own stirring comeback and will have a shout for a leading role next term. 

"I want to continue racing, and I hope it's with the team where I am now," Cavendish said. "Negotiations are underway, but I don't know. It's not up to me."