Where next for Mark Cavendish after B & B Hotels-KTM's collapse?

We look at where the ‘Manx Missile’ could find himself next after the collapse of B & B Hotels-KTM

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the professional cycling transfer window has begun to draw to a close, one rider is notably currently short of a ride for the 2023 season. Mark Cavendish

There has been stacks of reports as to where the joint Tour de France stage win’s record holder may find himself next season. 

He had been heavily linked to the French Proteam B & B Hotels-KTM throughout the autumn and winter. Team management at B & B repeatedly stated throughout the off-season that Cavendish was set to join the French squad as a team leader. However, planned big money sponsorship for B & B never materialised, with the announcement coming last week that they have now collapsed

With the news of B & B’s demise, questions have even been asked if that’s now it for the Manxman with his stunning second victory in the British national road championships being his final act in the sport. 

In the meantime, Trek-Segafredo have become one of several high-profile WorldTour teams to rule out a late move for Cavendish, with general manager Luca Guercilena explaining that the team plan to continue to focus on younger talent in the years to come. 

Cavendish has also been linked to the American ProTeam Human Powered Health in a report by WielerFlits. However, a surprise move to the American squad wouldn’t essentially guarantee Cavendish a return to the Tour in 2023. 

Human Powered Health have yet to comment on the matter. 

Even if the move to the American team doesn’t materialise, all is not lost, with several squads still without a sprinter for the coming season meaning that there’s time for a late move yet. 

Here at Cycling Weekly, we look at where the Manxman could find himself next. 


ineos control peloton stage 15 giro

(Image credit: Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

With all of Ineos’ firepower being aimed at Grand Tour success in recent years, you could argue that any link with Cavendish is merely a wild rumour. 

However, he rode for the team, then Team Sky, when they enjoyed a boom of victories, and would mark a return to the glory days that saw Bradley Wiggins land 2012 Tour victory.

Geraint Thomas took a fine third place at the Tour this year for Britain’s only WorldTour level squad. However, Thomas has publicly stated that with the Giro d’Italia route featuring more than 70 kilometres of time trialling next season, he will head to Italy. 

With Thomas likely out of the Tour team as a result, that would only leave Egan Bernal or riders like Dani Martinez as potential leaders for Ineos next July. 

Former Giro and Tour winner Bernal is still on the road to recovery after sustaining horrific injuries in a training crash earlier this year, so is unlikely to be able to lead the charge for Ineos. Martinez is still, to a certain extent, unproven as a GC leader. 

The team have also begun to adapt, changing their identity to one that's prepared to challenge in a one day setting too. They saw great success at Paris-Roubaix with Dylan van Baarle, and adding a former monument winner in Cavendish to the fold could help them continue in that vein. 

Not only that, but without an out-and-out overall favourite at the Tour next year, they may look for success in stage wins instead. The team already possess a sprinter in the form of Italian Elia Viviani , although Viviani has hardly set the world alight in the last 12 months. 

Adding Cavendish to the squad once more, even just for a year, would bring experience and stability to what is now with the exception of Thomas and Luke Rowe, a very young roster. 

It would also mean a solid chance at stage wins at next year's Tour, with the added bonus of potentially having Cavendish take a record 35th stage win with Ineos emblazoned across his chest.

A British sponsor's dream scenario on a British team. 


Warren Barguil at the 2022 Tirreno-Adriatico

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The French team already possess a sprinter in the form of Nacer Bouhanni, although the Frenchman hasn’t taken a victory at WorldTour level for a number of years. Cavendish has. 

Not only that, but the squad now lacks a leader after the departure of their star GC rider Nairo Quintana. It’s not difficult to imagine that Quintana would have taken up a large percentage of the teams budget, therefore leaving funds available to bring in a sprinter of Cavendish’s calibre who would significantly increase their chances of WorldTour success next season.  

Arkea-Samsic would also provide a guaranteed return to the Tour de France, with them also being confirmed to move to the WorldTour for 2023. 

The team would also have a solid lead out train which would be good to go, with Hugo Hofstetter, British rider Dan McLay and David Dekker among others already contracted for next season. 


Kyle Murphy

Kyle Murphy could be a potential future teammate for Cavendish in 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The American ProTeam Human Powered Health has emerged as being something of a surprise potential destination for Cavendish next year. 

According to the report from WielerFlits, the American squad have emerged in “pole position” for Cavendish’s signature, although that wouldn’t necessarily guarantee them entry into high-profile WorldTour races like the Tour. 

Human Powered Health would have to outrace multiple other ProTeam’s at the start of the year for a shot at receiving a wildcard entry to the Tour from race organisers ASO. The odds aren’t entirely in the teams favour with them having only received invites to ASO organised races on two other occasions. 

Joining the team would guarantee that he could still compete at a respected level, but Human Powered Health would be an odd move if a guaranteed return to the Tour was what Cavendish is hoping for next year. 

The team also lacks a ready to go sprint train to back Cavendish, unlike fellow ProTeam Arkéa–Samsic. 


Hugo Houle Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even though the Sylvan Adams backed squad will drop from the WorldTour next year, they could still provide Cavendish with a good staging post to continue his career. 

The Israeli team already have some big name riders on their team, including Chris Froome, Giacomo Nizzolo and Jakob Fuglsang and Adams is the type of owner who wouldn’t be afraid to splash the cash to add a fourth to the frame. 

The team took two big wins at the Tour de France last season through Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle, and would be one of the ProTeam level squads more likely to receive an invite to next year's Tour. 

If Cavendish were to join, then that would make that an almost foregone conclusion. 

However, last week Israel-Premier Tech announced that they had signed former Bahrain Victorious rider Stevie Williams, and confirmed that their roster was now full for the 2023 season, making a move there for Cavendish difficult. 


Uno-X Pro Cycling riders

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

With the majority of the rosters at WorldTour teams being complete, opportunities for Cavendish are gradually getting thinner. 

Among the WorldTour squads, several are at their full roster including EF Education-EasyPost, Movistar, BikeExchange-Jayco and, as mentioned above, Israel-Premier Tech. 

Other teams, including UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma potentially have space for other signings, but with these two both likely to be going for Tour victory next year, it seems highly unlikely that they would look to add a sprinter to the fold. 

Norwegian ProTeam Uno-X are one squad who could see themselves receiving an invite to some of cycling's biggest races next season, and may look to add more signings. Although after already bringing in Alexander Kristoff, a move for Cavendish seems unlikely. 

Plus, Uno-X manager Jens Haugland played down any links to Cavendish in a TV2 interview in Norway this week. 

“Cavendish is a legendary cyclist who will very likely take part in the Tour de France, but not for Uno-X." 

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Groupama-FDJ also could potentially bring in Cavendish, although with them possessing one of his biggest rivals last season, Arnaud Demare, that seems highly unlikely. The French team were briefly linked to Cavendish by La Gazzetta dello Sport this week. However, that was another link that did not last long. 

Elsewhere in the WorldTour, the sacking of Miguel Angel López by Astana Qazaqstan this week opens up a place on their roster that he could fill.

AG2R Citroën, Bahrain Victorious (where Cavendish rode in 2020) and Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert also have room for more signings. 

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Mark Cavendish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With it confirmed that Geraint Thomas is making a return to the Giro d’Italia next year, Ineos Grenadiers severely lack another rider who would possess the form and fitness to challenge the likes of Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard at the Tour next year in the general classification battle.

Bernal may need more time to regain his racing legs, and it may still be too early for the likes of Tom Pidcock to seriously mount an effort at the Tour podium. The team has also lost Adam Yates to UAE Team Emirates ahead of the coming season. 

With that in mind, Ineos’ direction is changing. The British team have already begun to reassess themselves and the type of racing that they’re known for, with that reshuffling process paying dividends at this year's Paris-Roubaix. 

Bringing Cavendish back into the fold ahead of the Tour would make sense for where the team are headed going forward. Cavendish enjoyed some of his best performances in a Team Sky jersey, and a return to his former stomping ground would also see them then possess another rider, other than the likes of Pidcock, who would be more than capable of picking up stage wins at the Tour next year. 

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.