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Mark Cavendish wants to carry on 'for a few more seasons'

Bahrain McLaren’s Mark Cavendish – pictured during the 2020 Scheldeprijs – could be looking for a new team for 2021
Mark Cavendish (Bahrain McLaren) at Scheldeprijs (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Mark Cavendish has reiterated his desire to continue his career, telling Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad he'd like to carry on racing "for a few more seasons". 

The 30-time Tour de France stage winner hinted he may have made the final appearance of his career in an emotional interview after Gent-Wevelgem, but he has since raced the Scheldeprijs, Tour of Flanders and Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne. 

He was in early breakaways for three of four of those races and, although he crashed out of De Panne on Wednesday, he seemingly found renewed enthusiasm.

"With all these Belgian races I've had my best racing month for a long time," Cavendish said. 

"Man, this is real cycling - as I learned it on the Isle of Man. Without power meters, but a lot of explosiveness. I hope to do that for a few more seasons. I first wanted to wait for the end of this season before thinking about the future."

Cavendish had already clarified his comments at Gent-Wevelgem, explaining that there were rumours the remaining races in Belgian would be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, cutting his season short. 

With no team announced for the 2021 season, Cavendish feared it could be his last appearance, and indeed that may be the case for De Panne. However, the British sprinter appears motivated to carry on, and just needs to find a team that will offer him a ride. 

The 35-year-old is arguably the greatest sprinter of all time but has struggled in recent years due to health issues. He was confirmed as being below the threshold for the Epstein-Barr Virus in 2019 but has still been unable to challenge for sprints like he used to. 

"I don't have a desire to stop," he said last week. "I don't want to stop. I love this sport. I give my life to this sport and I'd like to continue riding my bike."

Less than two weeks ago, Bahrain McLaren boss Rod Ellingworth, an old mentor to Cavendish, said they had not yet decided not to offer him a new contract. Meanwhile, Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere, for whom Cavendish rode from 2013 to 2015, suggested Cavendish had offered his services at a cut price. 

"It's no secret that he would like to return to our squad – free, or free in a manner of speaking," Lefevere said. "Right now, my heart says yes, but my head says no."