World champion sprinter Mark Cavendish is set to meet with Sky boss Dave Brailsford within the next 48 hours to discuss his future with the British outfit.

Speaking at a Tour of Britain pre-race press conference, Cavendish for the first time addressed speculation of a split, which, if happens, will come just a season into a three year deal with the team.

“I haven’t spoken to Dave, we haven’t had a meeting yet,” Cavendish told journalists in Ipswich.
“He’s coming here, and I’m here, so hopefully we can sit down in the next 48 hours and talk about it. I think it’s been hinted that I might not remain at Sky. I need to have a talk with Dave first about that before anything really happens.”

Cavendish began to consider a move at the Tour de France in July, which his teammate Bradley Wiggins won. The 27-year-old was proud to be part of the first British team to win the yellow jersey, with a British rider, however it came at a personal cost to him. Cavendish won three stages, without a team solely dedicated to his aims, but the number was short of his previous average of five.

Brailsford has openly stated that general classification success will remain the goal of the team going forward meaning Cavendish, who is focused on adding stage wins to his current 23-strong haul, may be better to find another home.

“I want the best for British cycling to be fair,” he said.

“We had this idea that we could have this British super team, we can win GC, we can win stages, we can win the green jersey and go and dominate. Dave sold me that idea last year and it hasn’t worked out like that.

“The biggest thing in cycling is the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. It would be wrong of me to not want the team that I love, and a company that I love, to go and want to do the biggest thing there. But obviously it restricts me from what I can do as a professional cyclist myself.

“I’ve got an ambition of winning as many stages as I can in the Tour de France and I’d kind of like to be somewhere I can do that.”

Cavendish doesn’t believe he, or another interested party, would have to pay Sky a release fee should he indeed leave the squad despite recent reports of the contrary. Transfer costs could limit the number of parties that could afford the 2011 green jersey champion. 

“I’ve seen talk about a release fee but I don’t think Dave would do that,” he said.

“It’s been done in the past, (Sky) had to buy Brad out of his contract (with Garmin-Transitions in 2009) but it was different circumstances, he was in a contract and Sky wanted him to leave the team.

“I’ve known Dave since I was 14 years old. I hope that is just a bit of speculation and everything can work out amicably.”

Omega Pharma-Quick-Step heads the outfits reportedly interested in the Manxman and, with no general classification rider, is a possible fit. 

The Tour of Britain begins tomorrow with a flat 203km stage from Ipswich to Norfolk Showground.

Twitter: @SophieSmith86


Related links 

Renshaw won’t discount riding with Cavendish again 

CW Exclusive: Cav’s gilded cage 

Cavendish recognises opportunities in missed Tour chances ahead of Olympics 

Tour of Britain 2012: Start list 

  • Jon

    In all honesty it was never going to work having 2 big name riders both chasing different goals. Cav will have to move to stand any chance of getting the green jersey again. Think sky need to think beyond just overall classificaion in the grand tours as well. Think this years line up in the TDF was about as easy as it can ever be for Wiggins. Not saying he’s a bad rider and I’m glad he won, just next year’s competition will be a lot harder with Contador, Schleck back in the reckoning. Only winning the tour again will elevate wiggins into the greats.

  • SteveF

    I am sure I was not alone when learning that Brad and Cav were joining the same team, in saying, ‘That’s never going to work’. There is no way that a nine man team can ensure both the Yellow and the Green and as we saw in the TdF the present make up of the Sky team even with only eight men left was perfect for the GC. Cav only has four or five years left and must find a team without GC aspirations otherwise time is just going to slip away.

  • Sam

    yeah, Steve, Brailsford’s done a terrible job as PD of both GB and Sky. Fire him from BOTH roles, not just one, eh? Challenging the selection of 4 TdF stage winners to support Cav for that gold medal is just dumb. Question the ultimate goal of trying to control a race as notoriously unpredictable as the Olympic RR, and I’d be with you on that one. But trying to argue against Wiggo, Froome, Millar and Stannard is just ridiculous. Cav not getting gold was NOTHING to do with the selection of riders around him.

  • steve turner

    cav needs to think about himself it showed it in the olympics, the team manager still had his sky team hat on and forgot there are other riders who could have helped cav get his gold medal, but then some have faces that dont fit. one manager for sky team, one manager for british teams on track and road.

  • Terry

    Why is everyone so shocked, the whole world said it was a bad move from the off ? BUT, how good was it to see Cav in the Rainbow Jersey with Wiggo in the TdF and in the forthcoming ToB?