Mark was on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday morning and in the interview he was pressed heavily about his decision to potentially move teams. He confirmed that he has made a decision and that it will be made public in the next few weeks.
Despite the fact that going to Team Sky would reunite him with good friend Bradley Wiggins as well as put all of the British stars in a star studded “national team”, I still think it would be the wrong decision for him personally.
HTC Highroad is a team built around Cav and without him, they’ll have to have a complete reorganisation. He’s the face of the team and he’s been with them for his entire professional career. All of his successes have come in a High Road jersey.
As the old saying goes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it and I definitely feel that this is the situation here. Reading this article in which Geraint Thomas expresses his desire to have Mark in his team next year does curb some of my reprehension towards such a move but I still feel that he may struggle to win as many stages in that team.
HTC riders all sacrifice themselves for Mark on each flat stage, sometimes even the hilly ones, just to keep him within the time limit. Tony Martin did win the individual time trial at the Tour de France this year but even so, he could have been capable of far more had he been allowed to show his true potential more often.
In Team Sky, he won’t have 8 guys working for him. Bradley Wiggins will continue to be a main focus of the team. Thomas seems willing to give up his own stage winning ambitions to work for either of those riders as well as potentially Edvald Boassen Hagen as he did in this year’s TdF. Boassen Hagen, as well as Ben Swift though may be the hardest hit because all sprinting duties will surely be handed over to Cav, even if they both stay with the team.
Will they be ok with the role of being Cav’s leadout men in the same way that Mark Renshaw, Tony Martin and co have been in the last few years? If they are, then it could be a good move for everyone, but it’s going to be a tough ask for those guys to give up the chance of individual glory, especially as Eddy had two stage wins, and probably should have had a third. It’s true that one of those was a brilliant breakaway attack rather than a sprint, and so that could still happen again in future, but the opportunity for sprint wins would look unlikely.