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Mark Cavendish confirms move to MTN-Qhubeka

Mark Cavendish portrait
Jordan Gibbons
29 Sep 2015

Mark Cavendish takes up to five others in the move to Pro Continental team, soon to be renamed Team Dimension Data.

We’re not sure if we’d even go as far as to describe it was one of the ‘worst kept secrets in cycling history’ as that would suggest it was ever a secret. In what we will now call ‘cycling’s longest anticipated confirmation’, which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, Mark Cavendish has confirmed he will move to MTN-Qhubeka next season. The contract doesn’t start until January 2016 by which time the team will have changed principle sponsors, and will be named Dimension Data.

As part of the transfer deal, Mark Cavendish will also be joined by long-time leadout man Mark Renshaw, who also comes with Cavendish from Etixx-Quick Step, and Bernie Eisel, from Team Sky. Brian Holm and Rolf Aldag are also rumoured to be joining the Afrian outfit, along with Cavendish’s soigneur, although those contract negotiations have yet to be finalised.

A few people will no doubt be questioning why Cavendish is making the step down to a lower tier team when he is such a big name, and how such a small team is able to afford the global megastar. First off, Cavendish hasn’t exactly had three stellar years at Etixx and Patrick Lefevere had indicated they wouldn’t allow him to race the 2016 Olympics in Rio, however Dimension Data have previously suggested that they would allow him to do so. 

You could also argue that from next year, Dimension Data won’t exactly be a small team and we think a step up to the WorldTour can’t be that far away. As for the cost, it’s highly likely that part of the deal was that Cavendish brought some person sponsors to pay his salary. Will this move be good for Cavendish? Only time will tell but it’s starting to look a lot like the old HTC-Highroad lineup, where Cavendish had some of the most successful years of his career to date.

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