Mark Cavendish will leave Etixx-QuickStep after three years with Patrick Lefevere’s Belgian super team, after MTN-Qhubeka secured the Manx Missile’s signature.
The 26-time Tour de France stage winner left Team Sky following a solitary season in 2012 in pursuit of more support at Grand Tours and a team built around his sprinting ambitions. And a 100th career victory and the Giro d’Italia red jersey – to complete the full collection of Grand Tour points jerseys – swiftly followed.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Cavendish over the past year years, and a misfiring sprint train, the rise of Marcel Kittel and resurgence of Andre Greipel, alongside ill-timed crashes and injuries have made it a rollercoaster ride for the 2011 world champion.
Nevertheless, as he and former HTC team-mates Mark Renshaw and Bernie Eisel embark on a new chapter in their careers with MTN-Qhubeka (with the team to be rebranded as Team Dimension Data for 2016), we’ve picked out the highs – and lows – of Cavendish’s three years with QuickStep.