Mark Cavendish has confirmed that he will continue his illustrious cycling career for another season.
As we reported in last week’s Manx Independent, the Manx Missile had been widely expected to delay his previously-announced retirement, having crashed out of this year’s Tour de France when chasing a record 35th stage victory at the Grand Tour.
His team, Astana Qazaqstan, teased a video on Wednesday morning which said ‘It’s not over yet @markcavendish’, prompting speculation that an anouncement was imminent.
And it duly arrived a short time later when it was confirmed that he will ride for another year.
The 38-year-old Manxman told the team’s website: ‘Well, this year I announced my retirement, and I was looking forward to not having to get up and train every day and not to be away from home for such a long time, instead spending time with my family.
‘I love cycling, I love racing, however I was happy with that decision. Obviously crashing out of the Tour de France was not a finish of my career I hoped for. but it is what it is.
‘Together with Astana Qazaqstan, we grew incredibly as a team this year and it felt like a real family. So, the first thing Alexandr Vinokurov said to me there at the Tour de France after my crash was “Why not do another year?”.
Well, my first reaction was “no, no…”. I was not ready to change my decision, I was at peace with it.
‘Then, I discussed it with my family, my kids and I got their answer: “you should carry on, well, just one more year…”.
‘So, now I believe I am ready for this another year as a professional rider, and I am happy I can do it and finish it with Astana Qazaqstan Team.
‘I love this team and even beyond the next year I’d like to do something more for this project. However, this is a question for the future.’