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Report: Mark Cavendish could be headed to Human Powered Health

The sprinter is still without a contract after the late collapse of the B&B Hotel team.

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Mark Cavendish is still without a contract for 2023, but it might not be for much longer.

WielerFlits reports that the American ProTeam Human Powered Health is preparing a contract for the Manx sprinter. 

Cavendish’s friend and former Team Sky teammate Peter Kennaugh also said recently on the Never Strays Far podcast that Cavendish has a contract for next season.

After a two-year stint at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Cavendish had been linked to Jérôme Pineau’s B&B Hotels-KTM squad for 2023. However funding for the team fell through late this year and the project collapsed, leaving an entire team of riders scrambling to find work, Cavendish included.

Also read: Tadej Pogačar wants to do Giro d’Italia, but his focus remains on Tour de France

At 37, 38 come the middle of next season, Cavendish is well into the age range where many riders have already retired, or would certainly consider hanging up the bike after being without a contract this late into the season.

But Cavendish has unfinished business. He wants a crack at breaking the Tour de France stage win record of 34 that he currently shares with Eddy Merckx. Cavendish tied the record in 2021 when a late call up by his Quick-Step squad yielded four victories. This year, he was passed over for Fabio Jakobsen, who secured one stage win. 

Signing with Human Powered Health provides no guaranteed shot at a chance for that 35th stage win. The team’s second-division ProTeam status provides it no automatic entry to WorldTour races, and it must beat out multiple other ProTeams for a pair of wildcard entries into the Tour de France. 

The odds don’t seem in the team’s favor. In its history, Human Powered Health has only received a pair of wild card slots from races organized by Tour owner ASO. Having Cavendish on the squad could make the decision easier for the French race promoter, however. 

Cavendish’s recent record will help his cause. His year with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl yielded a win at the British Road Race National Championship and stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, UAE Tour, and Tour of Oman.