Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Mark Cavendish "not part of our project" — Patrick Lefevere confirms Cav will leave Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl

"It hurts my heart. I know he wants to race for another two years… but it is not part of our project"...

The Manx Missile will be riding for a new team in 2023...

On yesterday's Tour de France rest day, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl boss Patrick Lefevere was delighted to unveil the team's new name and kit for next season, when Soudal will cross over from Lotto Soudal to sponsor their Belgian rivals — soon-to-be Soudal - QuickStep.

One man who will not be part of the team, however, is the sprinter whose controversial absence from the Tour dominated the pre-race narrative — Mark Cavendish.

> Wiggins: "Any other team would be crazy" not to take Cav to the Tour de France

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Lefevere confirmed that Cav "will not stay" beyond this season.

"I think not, it is not possible. It hurts my heart, I would like [...] but every now and then the time comes to say thank you for everything he has done for the team and I hope vice versa," Lefevere said.

"I know he wants to race for another two years… but it is not part of our project."

The 37-year-old's departure has been assumed since his omission from the Tour de France team, with Lefevere instead placing full support behind stage two winner Fabio Jakobsen.

Cavendish is, of course, just one win away from holding the record for the most Tour de France stage wins outright having equalled Eddy Merckx's famous tally of 34 with his fourth stage victory at last year's edition, and it seems likely wherever he races next will need the guarantee of a spot at next year's Grand Depart in Bilbao.

Mark Cavendish and Eddy Merckx (picture credit A.S.O./Pauline Ballet)

[📷: ASO/ Pauline Ballet]

The Manx Missile won the British national road race championship, for the second time, with an impressive display of climbing, endurance and race craft just one week before the Tour began in Copenhagen, and despite Tim Declercq having to withdraw due to a Covid positive, Florian Sénéchal was selected instead.

Mark Cavendish British national road race championship win (SWPix)

[📷: Alex Whitehead /]

Speaking before Cav's national title-winning ride, Sir Bradley Wiggins said any team other than his current employer would be "crazy" to not select him.

"Patrick [Lefevere] knows what he's doing but from a personal point of view, it would be a real shame if Cav's not there," the 2012 winner said.

"Aside from the personal relationship with him, I find it hard to see why you wouldn't take Mark: from a performance point of view, for the sponsors, for the impact he has on other riders around him on the team and the fact that he won four stages last year and the green jersey.

"Why wouldn't you take the defending green jersey back to the Tour de France? I can't see anybody else on that team who would merit going ahead of him, personally."

The noise around Lefevere's decision was somewhat hushed when Yves Lampaert won the opening time trial and wore the yellow jersey on stage two as Jakobsen won the sprint.

Fabio Jakobsen Tour de France Stage 2 (A.S.O. Pauline Ballet)

[📷: ASO/Pauline Ballet]

Main image: Alex Whitehead /

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Latest Comments