Cavendish's agreement with a team that could disappear in the next few days confirmed
Jérôme Pineau, general manager of B&B Hotels, confirmed the agreement with the British rider while admitting that the team's future is uncertain after failing to secure the necessary sponsors to cover the minimum budget for the 2023 season.
Cavendish's dream of Tour de France record wins fades away
"If I hadn't believed in the project, I wouldn't have signed". With these strong words, Jérôme Pineau admitted what had been an open secret for several weeks regarding the future of veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish with the French squad.
This was one of the headlines of the statements made to the French media by the general manager of the B&B Hotels team to clear up all the rumours that have arisen over the last few weeks regarding the continuity of the project after the suspension of the official presentation that was scheduled for October 26th.
After a month of August where there was talk of a major injection of money from the city of Paris, it seemed that everything was going well for B&B Hotels. However, as the weeks went by, none of the sponsorships were confirmed.
Pineau commented that at the moment "we are in a waiting situation. I have had many meetings with many companies. We are now waiting for them to decide with the ambition to be able to set up not only the men's team but also a high-level women's team and a training team. We have advised both the French Federation and the UCI that we need more time. I am waiting for answers on November 21, 28 and 29".
In any case, he also hinted that the cyclists would have to be aware that the budget is not enough and would probably have to revise their contracts downwards to ensure the viability of the project.
For his part, Mark Cavendish remained optimistic, although he did not deny the threats looming over the team's future. A view shared by Jérôme Pineau: "I can't hide the fact that he is part of the project. He wants to be with us and we want him to be with us even though, at the moment, he is not part of the team", confirming that, despite the agreement between Cavendish and B&B Hotels, there was still no contract signed between the two parties.
Not only Mark Cavendish is trapped in this waiting period but it also affects the cyclist Audrey Cordon-Ragot who was destined to be the pillar of the new women's squad that B&B Hotels had announced for next season and which, for the moment, is still up in the air despite the fact that Pineau denied that he had given free rein to the cyclists already signed up to look for a team.
We will have to wait for the outcome over the coming weeks, although this situation is nothing new in the world of cycling and history tells us that there is usually no happy ending.