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Mark Cavendish Reportedly Negotiating With American ‘Human Powered Health’ Team

mark cavendish 2023 tour de france teamCavendish in the green jersey as the stage 10 winner at the 2021 Tour de France with his former Team Deceuninck - Quick-Step; (photo/Tim de Waele, Getty Images)
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If Mark Cavendish signs on to Human Powered Health for 2023, it could be the Hail Mary he needs to break one of cycling’s most prestigious records.

It’s likely been a nerve-wracking few months for Cavendish — and not just from training. 

The Manx cyclist has experienced terrible luck as he works toward a significant goal for the sport: surpassing the all-time stage wins record at the Tour de France. Cavendish currently shares that record of 34 wins with cycling legend Eddy Merckx.

If Human Powered Health can get Cavendish to the Tour de France in 2023, that could be all the 37-year-old needs to set a new landmark in cycling. He reached Merckx’s landmark record during the 2021 Tour de France by winning four stages. At 36, he was older than the vast majority of other riders.

He might have broken Merckx’s record this year, but that’s when the bad luck began. Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ultimately put Cavendish on reserve, ruining his chances of achieving just one more stage win to break the record.

Maybe Cavendish will finally get his chance in 2023 with Human Powered Health. But a few speed bumps remain for the team to ensure Cavendish competes in cycling’s biggest event next year.

Road to Tour de France 2023

Various sources have told Dutch publication WielerFlits that the American ProTeam is preparing a contract proposal for Cavendish.

Although the team selection for 2023 was already finished, team managers reportedly kept room for a “special rider,” WielerFlitz reported. Human Powered Health also has the only female team manager in the men’s peloton, Ro De Jonckere, who has hired last month.

De Jonckere and sports director Hendrik Redant hope to get “a wild card” for the Tour de France by signing Cavendish, according to WielerFlitz.

But the other big question is whether Human Powered Health will get permission to use a wild card for the Tour de France. The American team has only received a wild card for a WorldTour race twice: the Tour of Catalonia in 2021 and the Walloon Arrow in 2019.

To bring Cavendish into Tour de France 2023 as a wildcard, “the American team will have to lobby hard for that,” WielerFlits said.

Cavendish finds himself in this unlucky position after a funding debacle at French cycling team B&B Hotels. After general manager Jérôme Pineau failed to procure sufficient funds, the team lost Cavendish and won’t compete in the Tour de France next year.

That could make it slightly easier for Human Powered Health to find room for Cavendish, but only time will tell.

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