Mark Cavendish has revealed that he has made a decision about which team he will be riding for in 2012 – but for now, his lips are sealed as to its identity. The Manxman, winner of five stages and the green points jersey in last month’s Tour de France, has been strongly linked with a move to Team Sky, and while the future of his current HTC-Highroad team is uncertain, intriguingly, Cavendish hasn’t ruled out staying put.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, the 26-year-old, whose current contract expires at the end of the year, said that he had made a decision over his future team at the weekend, adding, "I'm 100% happy in my decision."
Cavendish, winner of 20 Tour de France stages, the 2009 Milan-San Remo and the points jersey in last year’s Vuelta, continued: "I had one of those feelings. There was one more ingredient put into an offer I'd had."
He rejected thoughts that his decision might have been financially motivated, pointing out that he would "get the same money whichever team I go to."
Last year, it was reported that Cavendish was unhappy with his present contract with team owner Highroad Sports, negotiated several years ago, which he did not feel reflected the success he had achieved on the road.
However, he is not ruling out staying with the team, telling the BBC, "I want to go to the best place to help me win. That might be the same place I am at now."
Winning the Tour de France points competition has seen Cavendish achieve one of his two main goals for 2011, with the world championships in Copenhagen next month being the other.
"I think with the team I have and the course it is the best chance of my career to win the worlds,” he admitted.
"It is not pan-flat, but it is flat. It is a technical circuit so we have to stay at the front quite a lot.
"We can go with a strong team and be the favourites to win."
Next year, there is also the Olympic road race to consider, which could see Cavendish win Great Britain’s first gold medal of London 2012, although he was quick to put the event into context.
"In the history of road cycling the Olympics is a big thing but not the biggest,” he explained. “As a professional cyclist, it can't come at the forefront.
"But as a British person the Olympics is a massive thing and at a personal level it comes at the forefront for me.
"I am contracted and work for a professional team and I have to do what they say first.
"Next year the Tour de France is a massive goal for me and the Olympics is a massive thing for me," he concluded.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.