Following a fair bit of back-and-forth, it looks like Mark Cavendish will be racing in Deceuninck–Quick-Step colours next year after team boss Patrick Lefevere says he has reached a financial agreement with the Manxman. What happens after 2022 is still to be determined, with Lefevere suggesting Cavendish could stay with the team in a managerial role.
Earlier this week it was reported that Cavendish was offered a one-year contract extension, that had looked like it might break down over financial terms; but Lefevere has now took to his Het Nieuwsblad column to explain that an agreement has been reached, with final terms to be discussed at the World Championships in Belgium next week:
"I read that the negotiations between Mark Cavendish and me are difficult and that the water is deep. The reality, meanwhile, is somewhat different," Lefevere wrote.
"I'll see Mark face-to-face next week when he's in Belgium for the World Championships. It's easier to talk than on the phone. We have now reached an agreement on wages and bonuses.
"The only point of contention is what Mark can do after his career. He would like to remain involved with our team and that is certainly negotiable for me.”
Lefevere says that Cav's influence had directly led to companies like McLaren entering the bike industry
While Lefevere doesn't address the immediate future, including the question of whether Cavendish will be able to go to the Tour de France in an attempt to surpass the record of 34 stage wins he shares with Eddy Merckx, he goes into greater detail about what his role with the team could be following retirement.
Lefevere appears to suggest this may happen after the 2022 season, and that Cavendish could have a performance manager-type role; but warning that this doesn't work for all riders, Lefevere says that he could also see Cav working alongside the team's general management, where he would prove very useful because of his star quality and strong track record of working with big brands:
“Mark is someone for whom doors open. He has the name, and you have to hand it to him," explains Lefevere.
"Companies such as Science in Sport and McLaren have entered cycling through Mark. He also has excellent relationships with the energy drink brand Monster.
"In that role he can certainly be of value to our team, although I will also say that my main sponsors are fixed until 2027..."
Do you think Cavendish could flourish in a managerial or ambassadorial role? While he has been occasionally known to have a short temper, having that record-equalling number of stage wins to his name, bags of experience and strong existing relationships with prominent brands will surely be attractive to any team, especially the one with which he has executed one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.