Mark Cavendish: 'I’m not looking for a fairytale end - I just know I’m still good' 

The Manxman has spoken about his return to his old team and his ambitions for 2021 

(Image credit: WOUT BEEL)

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. 

>>> Remco Evenepoel says he’s still not ready to return to racing 

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. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.