Mark Cavendish said he was disappointed that his team, HTC-Highroad, will cease to exist at the end of the season but insists he is happy with his decision on who to ride for in 2012.
HTC-Highroad boss Bob Stapleton announced last night that he had failed to find a new backer for the US-based squad, whose sponsorship deal with phone manufacturer HTC expires at the end of the year.
“I am obviously very disappointed that HTC Highroad will no longer be a team at the end of this season,” said Tour de France green jersey winner Cavendish, who has won 20 Tour stages in his time at the team.
“I am hugely indebted and incredibly grateful to my team-mates and all the staff for their support over the last five years and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together.
“A number of teams have expressed interest in me riding for them in 2012. 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.”
Australian team GreenEdge, which will launch in 2012, have emerged as potential suitors for Cavendish, but Team Sky remain favourites to land the Brit.
Jack Bobridge, Cameron Meyer and Travis Meyer have become the first riders to sign for GreenEdge. The talented trio, touted as three of the most promising riders in the sports, will make the switch from Garmin-Cervelo at the end of the current campaign.
The 23-year-old Cameron Meyer, who has five world titles to his name on the track, claimed overall victory in January’s Tour Down Under, while Bobridge, 22, broke Chris Boardman’s long-standing individual pursuit record in February. Cameron’s brother, Travis, was crowned national road race champion at the first attempt in 2010.
Both Cameron Meyer and Bobridge will use the 2012 season to prepare for the track programme at the Olympic Games in London but Travis Meyer will focus solely on his road career.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Garmin-Cervelo but joining GreenEdge gives me the best support possible to chase my dreams and of becoming one of the leading road riders in the world along with the possibility of riding at the Olympic Games in 2012,” said Cameron.
“Up until now I have focused my efforts on being the best track rider in the world, and I have been satisfied with my achievements so far. However, the next phase of my cycling career will see meturn my attention to developing as a top road rider in Europe.”
“I would really like the opportunity to continue my progress in Grand Tours and test myself in the Tour de France along with the one-day classics like Liege-Bastogne-Liege. If I can accomplish these goals whilst being part of an Australian team, it would certainly be the icing on the top.”