When the news broke that British sprint star Mark Cavendish was leaving Belgian superteam Etixx-QuickStep at the end of the year to join South African outfit MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data, there were some raised eyebrows.
At first, it appeared that Cavendish was moving from a well-established WorldTour team to what was perceived by some as a lower-tier squad. However, with a decision now pending on whether MTN-Qhubeka – to be called Dimension Data in 2016 – will move up to the WorldTour next season, the move looks to be a very shrewd one for both Cavendish and the team.
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As part of the deal, Cavendish will be free to train for, and compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where he aims to contest the omnium on the track.
We asked Cycling Weekly readers what you thought of the transfer, and here’s a selection of your answers.
What do you think? Tell us in the comment section below.
Very good. Etixx didn’t seem quite right for him. Moving to Dimension Data should help to revive him. He also brings his experience, which will be valuable to the younger guys. Great that Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel are going too. Edvald Boasson Hagen will also be very strong for the lead-out. Excited to see what Cav can do next year.
Good for the team and good for Rio if he can be released for the track too.
I think it will move [the team] to the next level. They’ve made a few good signings and will only get stronger with Cav winning stages for them. More victories = more money, more recognition and Grand Tour invites. Can only be a good thing for them.
He had to leave QuickStep. He never got the full support he deserved there. I’d go as far to say, he would have been better off at Team Sky. At least when they committed, they committed fully to him. Too many superstars at Etixx-QuickStep.
I think it shows Mark Cavendish thinks more about success than money, which is a rare thing these days. You can see from past efforts he is always helping charity as well, so it’s a great fit. He has a great team there already who all have points to prove.
I think its great! Change can do wonders for an athlete.
On a good day he is now the third/fourth quickest in the peloton. Not sure the Dimension Data train will do him any favours compared to one that was driven by Tony Martin, Stybar, Trentin, Kwiatkowski, Velits etc. I’m afraid the domination is over.
I think it’s fantastic, hopefully he will be given more freedom by the team and he’ll win a race from a breakaway! Imagine cheering him on to hang on as his breakaway companions all started attacking him within the final five kilometres and then to see him smash them in the sprint finish.
I like the move and it’s great to see the old HTC-HighRoad gang of Cav, Renshaw and Eisel back together.
It seems a step down from where he was been operating. He is still in the top 10 sprinters in the world but he isn’t in a class of his own like he was four or five years ago. He regularly had the beating of Griepel a few seasons ago yet even Griepel beats him more often than not. It’s unlikely Griepel is improving at his age, which tends to suggest Cav is on the decline.