British sprint specialist Mark Cavendish has signed a one-year deal to return to Deceuninck-Quick-Step, the World Tour team announced on Saturday.
Cycling great Cavendish, 35, will be racing alongside Tour de France green points jersey jersey Sam Bennett.
The Manxman is revered as possibly the best pure sprinter in history, with 30 Tour de France stage wins and 15 in the Giro d’Italia, plus a world road race title.
Cavendish previously rode for Quick-Step from 2013-2015. “I can’t explain how delighted I am to be joining Deceuninck-Quick-Step,” said Cavendish, who is four stage wins adrift of Eddy Merckx’s all-time Tour de France record.
“I have never hidden my affection for my time with the team and to me this genuinely feels like I am coming home.” Quick-Step, led by Patrick Lefevere, had been mulling bringing Cavendish back to Belgium after his recent late-season racing there.
“Us and Mark share many beautiful memories and have a history that goes a long way back. During his three-year spell with the team, he didn’t just claim dozens of victories for the team, he showed amazing panache and what an incredibly dedicated team player he is,” Lefevere said.
An emotional Cavendish had hinted at a possible retirement in October, saying the Scheldeprijs “might have been” his “last race”.—AFP