It’s over

There's gold in them wheels

Yes, after one of the longest and most drawn out courtships in history, it’s over. Mark Cavendish is joining Sky. I know it’s not exactly news is it? In fact when I met Cavendish recently in Copenhagen it never even occurred to me to ask which team he would be riding for come 2012. We all knew which team and have known for sometime it was merely a question of inking the contract on terms agreeable to both sides.

Cavendish, feeling unloved and severely underpaid by HTC, wisely decided to wait until after the World Championships before signing on the dotted line. Matters have been made more complicated by different sponsors: Adidas and Pinarello for Sky versus Specialized and Nike for Cav. Batting on Cav’s behalf are his new management team the Wasserman Media Group who are (to quote from their website) ” a sports marketing and entertainment company with global expertise in Athlete Management, Consulting, Media Rights, Partnerships and Business Development, and Action Sports”.

You may wonder where I’m coming from on this but actually I’m all in favour of what Cav’s done. The life cycle of a top athlete is short, very short and he needs to maximise its potential. Yes, he loves the sport and, as someone who’s fast becoming one of its most recognisable figures, he needs to ensure he reaps sufficient rewards for his efforts. I can only applaud his actions. This has been and will continue to be a hot topic on the cycling websites and forums but at the end of the day it makes good business sense all round.

One thought on “It’s over

  1. I couldn’t agree more. A sporting career is a finite one, and there seems to be little doubt that he was being paid well below his market value by HTC. After all, he is arguably the sport’s single biggest draw right now, and one without a whiff of scandal about him.

    Cav turned down lucrative offers to move last year. Nonetheless he continued to race at 100% without so much as a sulk. He was also determined to bring Eisel and Renshaw with him to Sky, and has talked about feeling betrayed by the Aussie’s move to Rabobank. Nonetheless he was still magnanimous enough to gift Renshaw a stage at the Tour of Britain. Hurt though he was by Renshaw’s decision, he still did what was ‘right’ to publicly show his gratitude.

    Cav can be sulky and petulant at times, but he is a classy individual when it comes to respecting the sport and his teammates. Carlos Tevez and the majority of other footballers could learn a lot from him.

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