Mark Cavendish to postpone retirement and ride on with Astana Qazaqstan, reports

British sprinter reported to have reached agreement with current team to continue racing in 2024

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has reached an agreement with Astana Qazaqstan boss Alexander Vinokourov to continue racing in the WorldTour for another year, according to reports.

Dutch media outlet AD, reported on Tuesday afternoon that a new deal is close between the legendary British sprinter and his current Astana team with the only current block being several rights agreements.

Earlier this summer Cavendish was within touching distance of becoming the record holder for the most stage wins at the Tour de France. The Manxman is currently tied on 34 with Eddy Merckx.

On stage seven of this year’s Tour, Cavendish finished second in Bordeaux to Belgian Jasper Philipsen. At the time the record breaking stage win appeared to be sewn up although mechanical issues with his bike prevented the 38-year-old from edging out the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider.

Later on in the race a heavy crash on stage eight meant that Cavendish was forced to abandon with a broken collarbone. The Manxman had announced at the Giro d’Italia in May that his career would come to a close at the end of the current season meaning that it appeared the Tour record would remain out of reach.

However, in the aftermath of Cavendish’s withdrawal from the race Astana boss Vinokourov told L’Equipe that he would like to see Cavendish continue racing in 2024.

“Yes, we’d like Mark to continue in 2024 and race his 15th Tour de France to win that 35th stage,” Vinokourov said. “I myself broke my femur in 2011 in the Tour, and that should have been my last year. But I didn’t want to end my career like that.”

“I kept going and I worked hard to the point where I could win at the Olympic Games in London the following year. Mark has the same mentality, the same willpower to achieve his final goal. We’re ready to offer him that chance. But it’s up to him to decide.”

It now appears that Vinokourov is likely to get his wish with one source telling AD that without cycling Cavendish would be “lost in space.”

Mark Cavendish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.