Cavendish thanks HTC Highroad, says he’s proud of what was achieved
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Friday, August 05, 2011

Cavendish thanks HTC Highroad, says he’s proud of what was achieved

by Shane Stokes at 6:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Manxman comments after news that team will stop

Responding to yesterday’s news that the HTC Highroad men’s team will fold at the end of the season, its top sprinter Mark Cavendish has said that he regrets that it will stop, and that he feels that big things were achieved.

“I am obviously very disappointed that HTC Highroad will no longer be a team at the end of this season,” Cavendish stated. “I am hugely indebted and incredibly grateful to my teammates and all the staff for their support over the last 5 years, and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together.”

In that time Cavendish has clocked up a huge number of victories, including 20 stages in the Tour de France. Those victories owed a lot to the work of his team, which typically pulled the peloton along in reeling in breakaway moves and also drove the pace upwards to prevent late attacks.

Riders such as Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw helped position Cavendish in the finale, ensuring he was in place prior to the launching of his finish sprint.

Cavendish was rumoured to be looking elsewhere ever since last year’s Commonwealth Games, when he said that he wasn’t being paid what he deserved. HTC Highroad owner Bob Stapleton said yesterday that the team never had a large cash fund, achieving heavyweight results with a middleweight budget. Had more funds been secured, he would have been in a better position to negotiate an extension with Cavendish.

Instead, the rider has been linked by many to Sky Procycling, although he said that he had a range of choices prior to deciding which one to go for.

“A number of teams have expressed interest in me riding for them in 2012,” he stated. “I have now made a decision I am happy with and will be in a position to discuss my intentions once everything has been finalised.”

He will continue to compete with HTC Highroad until the end of the year. The team has said one of its remaining goals is to build on its 484 victories, aiming to break the 500 wins barrier.

Cavendish will also target the world road race championships, although he will do so in the British jersey.
 

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