Mark Cavendish is maybe, perhaps, conceivably, possibly leaving Sky. Now that David Brailsford and ex-swimming coach Tim Kerrigan have the one-two grand tour punch of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, they don’t need the fastest man in the world. He just gets in the way, you know?
The rumors are swirling based on Cavendish’s former HTC-Highroad boss Brian Holm saying the Manxman isn’t happy and Brailsford intimating that they might let Cavendish out of his contract.
Here are the Twisted Spoke scenarios we’d like to see:
Cavendish signs with Cofidis!!!!!!
Yes, the chronically invisible French squad needs wins of any kind and what would be better than five guaranteed stage victories in Le Grand Shindig? The French bank sponsor doesn’t have enough money for Cavendish so they also throw in Sammy Dumoulin in the bargain. Sky immediately sets little Sammy up with the full Sky Sports Science program and next year the diminutive Frenchman goes nuts in his stylish new Sky colors and wins more races than he ever has. Cavendish spends the season trying to explain to his Cofidis teammates what a train is and Petra sends out a barrage of angry tweets about how Cofidis isn’t protecting her man. Bah, c’est dommage.
Cavendish signs with Euskatel-Euskadi!!!!
The Men of Orange, on the brink of financial dissolution, dig deep in the pockets to make one last bold attempt to survive. Cavendish immediately moves to San Sebastian to pick up the strange Basque language and get acquainted with his teammates. Using his own substantial financial resources, the Manxman brings in Mario Cipollini to explaning to the riders how a sprint is accomplished. The Orange Express is launched to great fanfare and Cavendish picks up a few early season wins to the astonishment of all. Cavendish is given a basque name — Marka Txcavendixa. There’s nothing but champagne and tapas until train breaks down in the Giro d’Italia and Marka grows Xbitterxa.
Cavendish signs with Katusha!!!!!
Money talks once again and Cav goes from big budget brit to big budget Russki. As part of the deal, Petra and family get a penthouse apartment in Moscow. It’s a whole new life and Mark wastes no time telling the world he digs the whole vodka and caviar scene. In fact, he decides to put out his own line of Cav’s Caviar and initial sales go through the roof. Back on the road, the Manx Missile shows his usual burst of speed. He even cons Denis Menchov into joining his train to ramp up the speeds. Cycle Sport Magazine quotes a grinning Cavendish in a fur coat saying, “Renshaw, Menchov, it’s all the same to me.”
Cavendish signs with Jelly Belly!!!!!!
Weary of the whole ProTour circus, the stress, the egos, the outrageous demands and expectations, Cavendish stuns everyone by inking a contract with American domestic squad Jelly Belly. Candy sponsor thrilled with arrival of British speedster and announces a new jelly bean flavor — Caramel Cav. The new family man finds the easy life in the states a beneficial change. He wins every single sprint stage in the US until the Tour of California when Peter Sagan kicks his ass several times. Furious, Cavendish flies to Greenville, South Carolina and coaxes his best bud George Hincapie out of retirement. Then Cav calls Tour de France boss Christian Prudhoome about a special Jelly Belly invite based on his 22 stage wins in Le Grand Shindig. The Frenchman says yes. Cavendish proceeds to win five stages wearing a jersey covered with jelly beans.
Cavendish signs with brand new team Apple-Chevy-Burger King!!!!
Mark calls former HTC-Highroad kingpin Bob Stapleton to get back in the ProTour game and quickly the cards fall into place. The fast talking Stapleton brings Apple, Chevrolet and Burger King on board and the paperwork goes to the UCI. Then Stapleton poaches Renshaw from Rabobank, David Millar from Garmin-Sharp and Marcus Kittle from Argos-Shimano to build a high speed train for Cav. Execution is flawless except for the jersey — a cartoon burger king holding an apple while sitting in a Chevy truck. They’ll fix that later. Cav embarrasses Greipel, Sagan and Goss in Le Tour.