Mark Cavendish has delayed plans to retire and will continue to compete for Astana-Qazaqstan in 2024, with the Briton set to continue his quest for a record-breaking Tour de France stage victory.
Cavendish, who announced his retirement in May, is tied with Eddy Merckx on 34 stage wins.
The 38-year-old’s attempt to break the record in this year’s Tour de France was brought to an end when he crashed out of the race and broke his collarbone.
“I believe that a true champion should not end his career this way,” Astana Qazaqstan’s general manager Alexandre Vinokourov said.
“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.”
Cavendish said he had been content with his decision to retire, but opted to delay it after speaking with Vinokourov and his family.
“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,” Cavendish said.
“Obviously, crashing out of the Tour de France was not a finish of my career I hoped for… The first thing Vinokourov said to me there at the Tour de France after my crash was ‘why not do another year?’…”
“I discussed it with my family, my kids and I got their answer: ‘you should carry on, well, just one more year’. I believe I am ready for this another year as a professional rider…”
The Kazakhstani team have announced the signing of Michael Mørkøv from Soudal Quick-Step and Vasilis Anastopoulos, a coach, also from the Belgian team.