/ Cycling

Mark Cavendish leaves Team Sky for Omega Pharma-QuickStep

Updated: Friday, 19 Oct 2012 10:28 | Comments

Mark Cavendish: 'I've decided to leave to join Omega Pharma-QuickStep Cycling Team to pursue different goals'
Mark Cavendish: 'I've decided to leave to join Omega Pharma-QuickStep Cycling Team to pursue different goals'

Mark Cavendish will be the centre of attention once again after leaving Team Sky for Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man privately expressed a desire to move on in July at the Tour de France, before going public in September, believing Team Sky's stated ambitions and his own no longer matched.

Earlier this week Cavendish was preparing for a second season with Team Sky after protracted talks over an early termination of his three-year contract broke down.

Press Association Sport understands Team Sky relented and waived a release fee, allowing the Manxman to move on and sign a three-year deal with the Belgian team, where he will be a key figure.

Cavendish said: "After a year of being part of the successes at Team Sky I've decided to leave to join Omega Pharma-QuickStep Cycling Team to pursue different goals.

"It's been an incredibly fun year riding with friends I've grown up with, but I'm super excited about riding with old friends and team-mates in one of the most successful and established teams in cycling.

"I believe in the team's project and I'm thrilled to be a part of it."

"I believe in the team's project and I'm thrilled to be a part of it." - Mark Cavendish

The Manxman, who won the points classification green jersey at the 2011 Tour, claimed the world title in September 2011 and joined Team Sky a few weeks later.

He was part of the team which helped Bradley Wiggins become the first British winner of the Tour and won the final stage for a fourth successive occasion in Paris.

It was his 23rd Tour stage win, taking him to fourth in the all-time list and within reach of Eddy Merckx's record haul of 34.

Cavendish was already determined to leave, believing a Team Sky bid for the yellow jersey and the green jersey in the same year was no longer on the agenda.

Wiggins wished Cavendish well, with reference to that memorable day in Paris.

The Tour champion wrote on Twitter: "Sad to see my mate Mr Mark Cavendish leaving Sky, it's been a pleasure this year and the highlight leading out the man on the Champs."

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford added: "Mark has been a true champion for Team Sky this year.

"The sight of him winning in Paris, with the yellow jersey leading out the world champion - both in Team Sky kit - is something you'll never forget.

"We all wish Mark the very best with his future ambitions in a new team and as British rider."

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