Deceuninck – Quick-Step don’t expect Mark Cavendish to win six stages of the Tour de France after re-signing the sprinter, but they are looking forward to everything the Manxman will bring to the team.
“The return of Mark Cavendish is a challenge,” Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels told Sporza. “In the years that he was with us, we have been able to work very well together and also won a lot. Mark is a rider that you enjoy. I am really looking forward to working with him again, even if of course it is no longer the Cavendish of the past. “
The Belgian team’s first priority is to help Cavendish enjoy his racing again, and then they believe he can work his way up to winning races again.
“Mark has had a few bad years. On a sporting level, we will have to rebuild step by step. I think we should first of all make sure that he can enjoy racing again,” Steels continued. “We want to give him the feeling that he is physically back to normal. If he feels good on the bike, we can watch the sprints again. I have no doubt that he still has the capacity to win races. But fun on the road is the number one priority.”
“Cavendish remains Cavendish: that competitive character is still there and he will also find it with us. He can help with the ambitions of the team. The fact there is a fight in every race will please him.”
Even if personal glory is beyond Cavendish at this point in his career, Deceuninck – Quick-Step says he will be able to help their other fast men such as Sam Bennett and Alvaro Hodeg, a role he enjoyed at times during his year with Bahrain-McLaren.
“We don’t expect Mark to win six stages in the Tour. There are a lot of other races to get up to speed and then we have an extra sprinter, which gives us more opportunities. He also brings a lot of experience. His specific view of sprinting can help guys like Bennett or Hodeg. When Jakobsen comes back, he’ll enjoy it too,” Steels said.