The first day of the year coincides with Mark Cavendish's first outing in the official team jersey. Cav pedaled for a little over an hour and a half on the hillsides of Tuscany, where he spent the end of the year with his family and a few friends.
"It was a nice ride, and I was enthusiastic about officially wearing my new kit. The heritage of this team is incredible; it's been around since 2003. I'm proud to wear this jersey that Tom (Boonen) and the other guys on the team have made unique in the group. Now I, too, want to contribute and feel like this jersey I'm wearing is even more my own."
Then Cavendish reflected on his first days with his new team.
“I have to say that the first approach with the team at the Team Building in Slovakia and at Mallorca during the training camp was great! When you come to a new group, you never know how it’s going to go or how to behave. Instead, with this group there was immediate synchrony. Everyone here, staff and athletes, really loves cycling and is psyched to be a part of this group that has such a great history. For me, it’s important to be a part of this and to feel the faith around me.”
While the team surroundings may be new, with Team OPQS, Cavendish returns to familiar bikes and equipment: Specialized.
“I’ve got some good news and some bad news,” Cav said jokingly in a brief video message to Specialized. “The bad news is you’re going to have to put up with me again! (The good news is) I’m going to be working with you all. I’m so excited about it!”
In a few days, Mark will meet rejoin his teammates for a training camp in Spain, from January 6th to the 13th.
Cav is more motivated than ever. “I will probably anticipate my arrival in Spain by a few days, so I can get right down to hard work. It's going to be an important training camp, during which we're going to be doing a lot of work to prepare for the start of the season. I will make my official debut with this jersey at Tour de San Luis in Argentina.” he said.
“2013 already looks like is going to be full of events. I want to do well and give back to this fantastic group that has placed so much faith in me,” Mark continued. “Let me also take this chance to wish all our fans a great 2013 full of health and fantastic victories!"