Mark Cavendish is set to leave Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl when his current contract expires at the end of the year.
Last night, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that when asked about the British rider’s future, Patrick Lefevere admitted that his time with Quick-Step would come to an end soon.
Lefevere said: 'He will not stay, I think not, it is not possible. It hurts my heart, I would like ... but every now and then the time comes to say thank you for everything he has done for the team and I hope vice versa.'
‘I know that he wants to do two more years in the bunch... but he's not part of our project,’ Lefevere added.
When approached by Cycling Weekly, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl said: "We have no statement or information to give on Mark's contract at this time, other than that his current agreement is due to expire at the end of the year."
The omission of Cavendish from the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Tour de France line up sparked controversy prior to the race getting underway in Copenhagen.
David Millar was one of many notable figures to speak out on why Cavendish deserved to be at the Tour de France.
Cavendish recently won a second British National Road title in impressive fashion. The 37-year-old put in a stellar performance to claim the champions jersey and admitted he was “good enough to do the Tour”
The Manxman is tied on 34 Tour de France stage wins with Eddy Merckx and allowed himself to dream of a 35th record stage win in the British Champions jersey.
Before realising he would be missing out, Cavendish said: “Can you imagine winning a 35th Tour de France stage in the British champion's jersey? It'd be really beautiful. Those photos would be there forever,”
The news that it's expected that he will not be offered a new deal by Quick-Step will cause a stir in the peloton.
Cavendish’s performance in Castle Douglas and form prior to the race proved that he still is more than capable of performing at the top level.
Other teams may take note of the ‘Manx-Missile’s’ situation and offer him a chance to win the record stage next year.
Cavendish wasn’t the only high-profile name from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to miss out on selection for the Tour de France this year. Current World Champion Julian Alaphilippe is also sitting out as he continues his recovery from injury sustained at Liège–Bastogne–Liège earlier this year.
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