MARK Cavendish is reportedly on the verge of leaving Team Sky after less than a year at the Manchester-based cycling outfit.
Following Bradley Wiggins’s heroics in the Tour de France earlier this year, when he became the first Briton to win the yellow jersey, Sky are focusing their efforts on more general classification success at the three Grand Tours.
As a result, Cav will not have a team of riders designed to give him the best possible chance of winning bunch sprints, therefore greatly diminishing his hopes of winning more points’ jerseys at the tours.
Speculation has been rife for several weeks now that the Manx Missile would leave Sky in order to find another team more suited to his talents, although it was reported that a 1.2 million Euros release fee in his contract could prove to be a stumbling block in any negotiations.
However, earlier this week Cycling Weekly reported that Cav had successfully agreed a free release from his contract, meaning the Manxman could negotiate with other teams interested.
One such outfit intent on securing his signature is Omega Pharma-Quick-Step who appear to have no immediate general classification ambitions and would therefore suit Cav should he choose to join the Belgian-based team.
There are also reports suggesting that Sky could waive the aforementioned release fee in exchange for Quickstep rider Michael Kwiatkowski, a 22-year-old rider who has enjoyed a couple of successful seasons and is highly-rated within cycling circles.
One thing that does look likely is that Cav’s team-mate Bernhard Eisel will not be following Cav wherever he decides to go. The Austrian was the sprinter’s main leadout man during his ultra successful spell at HTC-Highroad and subsequently followed him to Team Sky last year but is said to be in negotiations for a contract extension with Sky.
Nothing has been confirmed yet by Team Sky or Cavendish but it could be confirmed by the end of this week.
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