With rumours abound that Etixx - Quick-Step see Fernando Gaviria as a replacement for Mark Cavendish, the Manxman denies he's disgruntled about the signing

Mark Cavendish insists he is ‘over the moon’ at fellow sprinter Fernando Gaviria joining him at Etixx – Quick-Step.

The Manxman took to Twitter to debunk rumours that he was disgruntled with the Colombian’s arrival, with many speculating that Etixx could be planning for life without Cavendish.

“I’m over the moon that @Etixx_QuickStep has signed @77Gaviria. Welcome dude!” Cavendish typed.

Gaviria, who won omnium gold at last week’s UCI Track World Championships, beat Cavendish twice at the season-opening Tour de San Luis.

After those wins, interest from the WorldTour in the 20-year-old was rife, with rumours of him signing for AG2R-La Mondiale soon quashed.

Etixx – Quick-Step invited Gaviria and countryman Rodrigo Contreras, who won the youth category at San Luis, for tests in Belgium earlier this week and announced yesterday they had signed them both.

With Gaviria keen to fight for omnium gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Etixx team boss Patrick Lefevere said his schedule will be focussed around that goal, but the sprinter could ride as a stagiaire towards the end of this season.

  • Kwesi Banson Jnr

    Its obvious Cav is nearing the end of his career, such a move by the team is in the right direction, I’m particularly happy because Cav won’t have to ride against him again. His only threat will be from Kittel.

  • David Chadderton

    Of course he is delighted. One less to compete against. They can work over the other sprinter’s teams more effectively. Like having Reg Harris and Arie Van Vliet on the same team. Brilliant strategy.

  • John Westwell

    I’m sure that they are planning for life without Cavendish. But it will be two to three years before he’s mature enough to handle a full season, by which time Cavendish’s career will most likely be over – certainly at the top level. In the meantime, Gaviria will be able to learn from someone who – in terms of build and sprinting style – looks pretty similar.