October 18, 2012 – Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is delighted to announce that we’ve reached a deal with Mark Cavendish. The 27-year-old rider from the Isle of Man will be riding with the team for the next three seasons (2013-2015).
“Mark is one of the most outstanding riders in cycling, a true star recognized internationally for his unique style and irrefutable athletic skills” Team Owner Mr Zdenek Bakala says. “His extraordinary sprint have become a cycling ‘must-see’ that can fire up crowds the world over. In addition to raising the technical bar for the team, his arrival will broaden our international profile and team image. Mark is an important player in the gradual growing process in which the team has invested. This year our hard work and commitment have already taken us among the best teams in the world in the UCI rankings and carried us to victory in the Team Time Trial World Championships.”
Mark Cavendish says “After a year of being part of the successes at Team Sky I’ve decided to leave to join Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team to pursue different goals. It’s been an incredibly fun year riding with friends I’ve grown up with but I’m super excited about riding with old friends and team-mates in one of the most successful and established teams in cycling. I believe in the team’s project and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
Mr Bessel Kok, Chairman of the Board, who led the long negotiations with SKY, says “Mark is one of the most important athletes of his generation, a sports icon. He is a great sprinter but he also has a fantastic personality, which he always demonstrated during his career. With Mark joining the team, we will be able to count on another athlete with a modern vision of cycling tied to development, technological innovation and communication.”
“Mark is the best sprinter in the world and one of the all time best sprinters, ever,” Team Manager Patrick Lefevere says. “With his arrival the team will be even more balanced and it will be enriched with another top rider, who will become the man to count on in the sprint, just as Tony Martin is the point man for the time trial and Tom Boonen the best rider for the Northern Classics. Mark will also find a time-tested technical staff on the team, as well as high calibre athletes eager to work with him to reach new, grand goals together.”