Team boss Patrick Lefevere claimed that the lengthy negotiations were caused by salary demands and Cavendish’s desire to continue in another role in the team after he stops racing.
Cavendish re-joined his old team at the beginning of 2021 on a basic salary, which was paid for by an outside sponsor. The team took a gamble taking him in after three winless years. However, since re-joining the team, the Manxman won, among others, four stages at the Tour de France, claiming the Škoda Green Jersey in the process and equalling Eddy Merckx’s record for most stage wins at the French Grand Tour.
Winner of the iconic green jersey and four Tour de France stages this year, when he took his tally to 34 victories and equaled a 46-year-old record, @MarkCavendish has signed a new contract with #TheWolfpack: https://t.co/05584SRAke pic.twitter.com/lQzSQ0SRyQ
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) December 7, 2021
“I am incredibly proud and happy to have agreed to a new deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step,” Cavendish said.
“One year ago, when I came to the team, I did not hide my admiration for what this team does and how happy I was to be back here. I knew from my first time here that this squad has a unique family feeling, and it is a culture that remains to this day.
“The last 12 months have been phenomenal and the support that I have had from the team and the staff has made me very emotional at times. I am really looking forward to making some more special memories together over the next 12 months.”
Patrick Lefevere, the team boss, talked in a similar manner: “The whole world saw what he did this year. What they didn’t see, though, is the way that he speaks and leads within the team and encourages everyone.
“We have a very close group here and Mark always embodies that spirit, and while he may be the one that crosses the line with his hands in the air, he is the first to recognise the work that the team does as well, which means a lot to everyone. We are more than happy that we can continue the story with Mark for one more year.”
Cavendish will join the Deceuninck – Quick-Step training camp in Calpe this week.
Will he continue to win next season? What do you think?