Deceuninck-Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevere has reportedly offered Mark Cavendish a one-year contract extension – but there is no guarantee of a place at next year’s Tour de France, where the 36-year-old is tied with Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins.
Het Nieuwsblad reports that while there is an offer on the table, talks between the team and the sprinter have stalled, with the parties said to be far apart on financial terms.
Cavendish rejoined his former team on a 12-month contract last December on a deal that was understood to be at the UCI minimum wage, topped up by personal sponsorship he brought with him.
The current deal on offer from Deceuninck-Quick Step – which will change its name for next season to Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl – is reported to be based on a bonus structure.
One stumbling block is thought to be the question of participation in the Tour de France, where Fabio Jakobsen – winner of three stages and the points competition last month at the Vuelta a year after his horrific crash at the Tour de Pologne – may be the team’s lead sprinter.
Cavendish, who at April’s Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey got his first wins since the Dubai Tour in February 2018, got a late call-up for this year’s edition of the French Grand Tour after Sam Bennett withdrew.
He took four stage wins, his first in the race since he landed a similar haul in 2017 to pull him level with Merckx on 34 wins apiece; but while he won the points competition, he finished third on the closing stage in Paris, denying him the outright record.
In the meantime, Cavendish, who finished third in Sunday’s final stage of the Tour of Britain in Aberdeen, has been named in the Great Britain line-up for the men’s elite race at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Belgium.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.