Griffiths says Sky will remain on Pinarellos, believes Cavendish will move to team
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Griffiths says Sky will remain on Pinarellos, believes Cavendish will move to team

by Shane Stokes at 4:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
British importer says initial three year equipment contract will be honoured

Mark CavendishPinarello’s British importer Phil Griffiths has ruled out any change in bikes used by Team Sky, saying that he is ‘100 percent sure’ that the team will be on those frames in 2012.

There has been speculation in recent days that whatever team Mark Cavendish rode for next season would be one using Specialized bikes, following a story one week ago in the Gazet van Antwerpen. That article stated that Cavendish wanted to remain on his current machine, and that this would be a condition of his signing. As Quick Step has already agreed a deal with the American company, the paper suggested that he could well move to that team. It suggested the future presence of current HTC directeur sportif Brian Holm and key riders such as Tony Martin and Peter Velits on Quick Step further increased the likelihood.

However today the Belgian team’s co-owner Bessel Kok told the same newspaper that his move there would not take place. “Cavendish does not come to us,” he said. “There have been discussions about his future, but both parties have agreed not to sign any deal.”

With Sky looking once again to be the prime runner, there will inevitably be questions about whether a move by Cavendish would see the team having to switch bike suppliers. Not so, says Griffiths, who believes firstly the rider looks very likely to be racing there next year, and secondly that he will do so on a Pinarello.

“I think they have done too much together, I think it has to happen,” he said, speaking about a Cavendish-Sky deal. “I think there is a working partnership there, and with the unfortunate demise of HTC, I think it is the way to go. It would be a good way to go, all positives.”

As regards the bikes, he expects that the world champion will change brands. “Mark has been with Specialized for eight months, that is all,” he said. “There is no loyalty there, people are reading too much into things.”

“There are no problems at all, Pinarello signed a three year deal. Okay, if you ask what is the future is after that, I wouldn’t have a clue. I am not the team so I don’t know what they have been offered [after 2012], what they have not been offered, but I would say for all the reasons they originally went to Pinarello, they will remain. It is a working partner and that is what they chose.

“I think if you see how the team has been this year, and how successful it has been in the first two seasons, why would they want to change?”

From a personal point of view, Griffiths will hope the partnership continues beyond the initial deal due to run between 2010 and the end of 2012. He said the effect on sales has been pronounced. “It has been dramatic…a big success from my point of view, and therefore also from Pinarello’s point of view. And this won’t be the only country [with a boost in sales], it will have worked in Scandinavian countries as well, it will have worked worldwide.

“I’m very pleased with things, and excited with whatever the future brings. If you look at the guys who have re-signed, that is exciting enough with all the recent results. But I am sure that there is a certain new signing still to be made….”


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