Thursday, October 18, 2012
Cavendish leaves Team Sky to fulfil Tour ambitions
PARIS (Reuters) - Spint ace Mark Cavendish is to leave Team Sky in order to fulfil his Tour de France ambitions after spending this year's race serving as a domestique for Bradley Wiggins, the British team said on Thursday.
Briton Cavendish, the 2011 world champion who has 23 Tour de France stage wins to his name, will join Belgian team Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the 2013 season.
The move was barely a secret but Team Sky spelled it out clearly on Thursday, saying in a statement: "The 2011 world champion had been expected to leave at the end of his first season with the team over a clash of priorities, having seen his winning opportunities in Grand Tour stages limited."
Wiggins was Team Sky's only priority on the Tour this year as he became the first Briton to win the world's greatest cycling race.
The 27-year-old Cavendish, who had benefited from his team mates' help the previous year to win stages, was no more than a domestique in 2012.
He still claimed three stages victories in July.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justin Palmer)