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Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) looks set to prolong his cycling career for at least another season with news filtering through that he has linked up with one of cycling’s top agents, Martijn Berkhout.
Cavendish is out of contract at the end of the season having only extended his deal at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl by one year at the end of 2021.
Now 36, but still winning grand tour stages at the Giro d’Italia, Cavendish will be hoping to tie up a deal much earlier than in 2021 with several WorldTour teams set to enquire as to his services.
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It’s unclear if the sprinter will seek out a one or two-year contract, but having returned to the top of the sport at last year’s Tour de France, and won a number of races already in 2022, he has shown no signs of slowing down.
Cavendish has not put a finishing date on his career but moving to work with Berkhout, when it comes to his cycling contract, is a clear indication of his desire to look at his options.
Berkhout represents a number of high profile riders including Dylan van Baarle, who will move from Ineos Grenadiers to Jumbo-Visma next year, Bauke Mollema, Søren Kragh Andersen, and Fabio Jakobsen.
Cavendish’s next move will likely involve sounding out team boss Patrick Lefevere on the Belgian’s plans for 2023.
Lefevere has made no secret of his desire to sign a sprinter in the transfer market for next season. He has already been linked to Tim Merlier, with some reports that the deal for next year has already been done.
However, Lefevere has denied this, and with Cavendish continuing to win races and remain competitive, the Belgian is highly likely to at least consider a contract extension for a rider he helped return to the top of the sport. Cavendish’s availability and continued success is also likely to draw interest from bike manufacturers and brands seeking out a consistent winner.
Cavendish’s desire to work with Berkhout is also a clear indication that he is keen to weigh up his options on the market and that he would prefer not to wait until the very end of the season to sign a new deal.