Ricci Pascoe, general manager of British UCI Continental team Saint Piran, says that the Cornwall-based team would be “more than happy” to offer Mark Cavendish a place on their squad if it helped him to achieve his goals at a future Tour de France.
He added that the team would welcome the British national champion with "open arms" if he finds himself short of a ride for 2023.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Pascoe explained that while he fully expects Cavendish to join a high-profile team for next season, he would always have a place for the Manxman in the Cornish squad, for however long or short he may want to ride for them.
“Of course I’d be delighted for him to come and ride for us,” Pascoe said. “I know it's not likely because Mark is obviously a WorldTour level rider. If there were zero options, and he just wanted to race, he could start racing for us on 28 February and a WorldTour team could still sign him on 30 May.”
“He would then still be racing in some way in the meantime,” he added.
With the cycling transfer window beginning to wind down, the Manxman and his agents now face a challenge to find a place on a WorldTour team for next season, or a ProTeam hoping for entry to the Tour de France.
Pascoe explained that he has had conversations with other high-profile riders in the past, and suggested that riding for Saint Piran “makes sense” until something else comes along.
He explained he would be more than willing to offer Cavendish a short-term deal for however long was necessary to the Manxman.
“Just imagine the uplift across all sectors though if it was to happen," he said. "It would be absolutely great for UK domestic sport, as well as being great for us as a team too."
SAINT PIRAN WOULD WELCOME CAVENDISH WITH 'OPEN ARMS'
With Cavendish sitting just one win away from becoming the record holder for the most Tour de France stage wins, he is likely to join a team that would provide him with the opportunity to complete that goal. Saint Piran are not eligible for entry as they are in the sports third tier of UCI Continental level.
However, Pascoe added that making space for riders of the quality of the Manx-missile is something that they would always be willing to do.
“I would obviously welcome him with open arms if the chance was there,” he said. “Who wouldn’t make space to take riders of that quality?”
“Cavendish is a bike rider first and foremost and we’re all in the sport because we’re bike fans. I’d gladly give him a space if it meant he could keep turning his legs for a month, six months, whatever. Although he should be riding the Tour de France, end of story.”
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1