Bernhard Eisel extends with Team Sky through 2015
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Bernhard Eisel extends with Team Sky through 2015

by Ben Atkins at 9:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Mark Cavendish’s “minder” stays put as Manx Missile departs for Omega Pharma-Quick Step

bernhard eiselSky Procycling has announced that Bernhard Eisel has extended his contract with the team until the end of 2015, which means that the Austrian will not be following 2011 World champion Mark Cavendish to Omega Pharma-Quick Step. The 31-year-old Austrian has ridden alongside Cavendish since they were on the T-Mobile team together, becoming regarded as the Manxman’s “minder” in the peloton; while Cavendish has left the British team in order to pursue his own ambitions however, Eisel has elected to stay on.

Eisel originally signed a two-year contract with the team - as Cavendish signed on for three - but this latest deal will extend his time with the British team to at least four years.

“I’m delighted to have extended my contract,” EIsel said. “Although I haven’t had a win this season, I’ve had a really enjoyable first year with the team and have been able to contribute to some historic performances.

“I’ve loved taking on a senior role in the squad,” he continued. “Having the chance to advise the younger guys is something I’ve really enjoyed doing, and want to continue doing that over the next three years.”

Despite spending much of his time in a ‘road captain’ role, Eisel has been able to race for himself, and taken a number of major victories. The biggest of these was the 2010 edition of Gent-Wevelgem, but it has been his riding with Cavendish that the Austrian has been most famous for in recent years.

Eisel followed Cavendish from the defunct HTC-Highroad team this year, and was the only rider in Sky’s Tour de France team dedicated to the then World champion; having elected to stay on at the British team however, means he must contemplate racing without his close friend.

“The fact that Mark Cavendish is leaving us made this one of the toughest decisions of my life, and I wouldn’t have stayed if I hadn’t felt absolutely at home here,” Eisel explained. “Mark and I have ridden together since 2007 and he was my only room mate during most of that time. I haven’t just looked after him on the bike, I also regard him as a brother, so it will be strange competing against him in the future.”

No longer charged with “looking after” Cavendish, Eisel can look forward to being able to race for himself more often in the coming seasons, but he recognises that his experience will mean that his road captain role will continue.

“In terms of 2013, I’m sure I’ll have more chances to get my first victory for the team, and at the same time I’ll continue doing what I am best at, which is helping other people win,” he said. “We’ve accomplished so much here already at Team Sky but I’m sure there will be plenty more success in the future and I’m excited by that prospect.”

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