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Cavendish leaves Team Sky

Former road race world champion Mark Cavendish has announced his departure from Team Sky. The Isle of Man sprint specialist will be racing in the colours of Belgian team Omega Pharma-Quickstep for the next three years.

The decision was expected after a difficult Tour De France. There had been some dispute about the way the team should be made up, with Cavendish wanting to win the green jersey for the champion sprinter and the team focusing on delivering the overall yellow jersey to Bradley Wiggins. Although Cavendish did not complain during the Tour, it was obvious that Team Sky could not accommodate both racers’ ambitions.

"It would be wrong of me not to want the best for Team Sky and for British cycling, but me staying with the team restricts both them and also what I want to do," Cavendish said. Cavendish won three stages in the Tour, but subsequently said he could have won three more stages if Team Sky had been more focused on his success rather than concentrating on Wiggins.

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford was philosophical about Cavendish’s departure. "Mark has been a true champion for Team Sky this year," he said. "It's been an honour having the rainbow jersey in this team and great to work so closely with a rider I've known since he was a junior. He has been a real team player, making history in a Tour de France winning team. We all wish Mark the very best with his future ambitions in a new team and as a British rider."

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