Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Mark Cavendish spotted with Astana Qazaqstan car at Alicante airport

Cycling's most protracted transfer saga appears to be nearing an end.....

Can anyone remember life before the 'who will Mark Cavendish sign for' days?

It seems like we've spent half our lives waiting for the Manx Missile to sign for first B&B Hotels-KTM and then Astana Qazaqstan after the former folded due to a lack of sponsorship.

> Is that Cav on a Wilier? British champion 'spotted' in Spain riding Astana-liveried bike

There have been sponsor event attendance rumours, Instagram messages from Paris and grainy pictures of a possible British national champ's jersey riding a Wilier, but now we have the clearest evidence yet of Cavendish's new team...

The picture comes courtesy of former CyclingTips Editor-in-Chief Caley Fretz, who has since started a new podcast called The Placeholders, after a source of his spotted the recognisable face apparently loading up an Astana Qazaqstan team car with luggage at Alicante airport.

And while a great big vehicle plastered in team logos might not be the most inconspicuous transport for the yet to be announced signing, the consensus in the cycling world since before Christmas has been that Cav has already agreed a deal with the team.

The rumour mill was sparked by team boss Alexandre Vinokourov's comments after B&B Hotels folded... "I thought about Mark right away. I gave him a phone call saying if he was free then we could talk. It's true he's what? 35 or 36? (37) But what really matters is if he's motivated. I won the Olympic Games when I was nearing 40.

Mark Cavendish at Gran Torino 2022 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

"He was the favourite that day, and maybe it was me who stopped him from getting his title of 'Sir'. But now there's the chance of breaking the record in the number of Tour wins."

Cavendish was not seen in the team's presentation nor team photo released at the start of 2023, likely due to it being taken at a training camp before he was linked to the team.

It is also unclear what, if any, impact the ongoing trial of men accused of robbing Cavendish's family home in Essex in November 2021 has had on the timing of any potential announcement.

Last week, a court heard that masked robbers punched Cavendish and threatened to "stab him up" in front of his children during the raid, while the sprinter and his wife Peta have given evidence at Chelmsford Crown Court in the past ten days.

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