Mark Cavendish says he’s not looking for a fairytale ending to his career, but that he “knows he’s still good.”
The British sprinter has rejoined his old Deceuninck – Quick-Step team for 2021 after a tough few years of illness, injury, and contract negotiations.
Cavendish, 35, says he’s not expecting to suddenly start winning multiple stages of the Tour de France, but is grateful for another opportunity to race.
Speaking from the Deceuninck training camp in Spain, as reported by The Guardian, Cavendish said: “If I thought I wanted to go and race and win six stages of the Tour de France again I’m in fairytale land, and it makes it even less likely when you come to the strongest team in the world, the way they dominate.
“I’m not looking to hang on to something or try to finish my career in any fairytale way. I just know that I’m still good. Even if I’m not winning, I can still add something to this team.”
Cavendish has ridden through a turbulent few years, starting with his Epstein-Barr diagnosis in 2018.
Things looked to be improving in 2020 when he was able to join his old mentor Rod Ellingworth at Bahrain-McLaren, but as it became clear the team would not be offering Cavendish a new contract the Manxman feared the premature end of his career.
But Deceuninck – Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere revealed he was considering signing Cavendish, with the official announcement coming in December last year.
Cavendish rode for Lefevere for three seasons from 2013-2015 when the team was called Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.
During his time with the Belgian squad, Cavendish took 44 victories including eight Grand Tour stage wins, and now joins a star-studded line-up for 2021 at Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which boasts the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Remco Evenepoel and Sam Bennett.