The big news out of France is B&B Hotels – KTM could be Mark Cavendish's new team...
We say 'could' because just as the whispers spread through the media a spokesperson for the team denied the report and instead said all would be revealed at the team's official presentation on October 26th.
I guess we'll know for certain in nine days' time, but the word from Ouest France appeared fairly strong, the French news outlet reporting the Manx Missile has agreed a one-year deal at the UCI ProTeam run by former pro racer Jérôme Pineau.
At the end of August, Pineau was upfront about his team's interest in Cav, calling the negotiations "quite complicated" but that there was a "50-50" chance.
In response to the Ouest France report, B&B Hotels – KTM told VeloNews: "We will make no comment on what came out today in Ouest-France, except denying all this information. We will unveil every detail about the team's future on October 26th."
So, what do we reckon? Deal off or building the expectation ahead of the big reveal next Wednesday?
Interestingly, Cavendish reportedly enlisted Sports Entertainment Group (SEG), a talent management agency, to find him a new team after it became apparent Patrick Lefevere was not going to offer him a new deal at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
Even more interestingly, three of SEG's riders — Nick Shultz, Cees Bol and Brit Stephen Williams — are supposedly joining the French team next year, while they're also linked with lead-out men Maximiliano Richeze and Ramon Sinkeldam. It seems someone's building a lead-out train — but who for?
The noise from the Netherlands is that Amazon France will be stepping in to help fund the project next year, with the team's name yet to be decided. Plenty of questions remain to be answered on October 26 in Paris. Oh, and did we mention the Tour de France route is revealed the day after? Yep, you guessed it... in Paris.
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.