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Mark Cavendish delays his retirement and stays with Astana Qazaqstan Team

One of the greatest sprinters in the history of cycling Mark Cavendish has decided to postpone the end of his professional career for another year. At the same time, Mark Cavendish and Astana Qazaqstan Team agreed on making a new deal for the next cycling season. As a result, the Isle of Man rider will continue to compete in the Kazakh team throughout the season of 2024.

“Well, this year I announced my retirement, and I was looking forward to not having to get up and train every day and not to be away from home for such a long time, instead spending time with my family. I love cycling, I love racing, however, I was happy with that decision. But… Obviously, crashing out of the Tour de France was not a finish of my career I hoped for. But it is what it is. Together with Astana Qazaqstan, we grew incredibly as a team this year and it felt like a real family. So, the first thing Alexandr Vinokurov said to me there at the Tour de France after my crash was “why not do another year?”. Well, my first reaction was “no, no…”. I was not ready to change my decision, I was in peace with it… Then, I discussed it with my family, my kids and I got their answer: “you should carry on, well, just one more year…”. So, now I believe I am ready for this another year as a professional rider, and I am happy I can do it and finish it with Astana Qazaqstan Team. I love this team and even beyond the next year I’d like to do something more for this project. However, this is a question of the future”, – said Mark Cavendish.


“There is no secret that the Tour de France and a stage win there was the main goal for Mark. And at Stage Seven he was very close to breaking his historical record. However, a heavy crash a day later crossed out all the plans of both the rider and the team. I believe that a true champion should not end his career this way. So, I asked Mark if in a few years he would regret that he didn’t try again, and, in turn, suggested to reconsider his decision, to stay for another season, and still to try to win a stage in the Tour de France. I think Mark thought about it seriously; it’s not easy to reconsider the decision already made, but in the end Mark agreed, and he will spend 2024 as a rider of Astana Qazaqstan Team. While this season Mark’s arrival in the team was quite unexpected, then for the next year we are preparing thoroughly, seriously reviewing the squad, strengthening the sprint direction, making personnel changes. It won’t be easy to better the record he shares with Eddie Merckx, it would be a historic achievement, but we have a chance, and we have to use it. As for the plans after 2024, certain discussions are underway, and the team is interested in continuing cooperation with Mark. But, of course, first of all our thoughts are about the upcoming season”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.