• Cycling

Wiggins: Cavendish should leave Team Sky

ESPN staff
August 19, 2012
Bradley Wiggins can understand Mark Cavendish's frustrations © Getty Images

Bradley Wiggins admits Mark Cavendish must leave Team Sky if he is to further his career.

Cavendish, the green jersey winner at last year's Tour de France, joined the British team for the 2012 season, but was forced to play second fiddle to Wiggins as he became the first Briton to win the coveted yellow jersey.

With Sky prioritising general classification wins, they are unable to provide the lead-out support to Cavendish as the British team did at last year's World Championship when the Manxman won the rainbow jersey in the road race.

Cavendish, who has likened his role during the Tour de France to England striker Wayne Rooney playing in defence, has been told by Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford that he is free to leave, despite having two years left on his contract.

And while Wiggins would prefer his Team GB colleague to stay at Team Sky, he understands Cavendish's motivations for wanting to leave.

"I understand why he has to [leave]. From a selfish point of view I'd love him to stay," Wiggins said. "I enjoy his company but I understand why he has to leave. To see Mark on the Tour winning five or six stages, challenging for the green jersey - he probably has to go."

Wiggins, who will return to action at the Tour of Britain next month after taking some time off following his Olympic time trial victory at London 2012, admitted Sky were unable to provide the support Cavendish required.

"Sky have set a precedent now, if we're going to dominate cycling and try to win all three grand tours," Wiggins said.

"I suppose we have to start building towards the GC and unfortunately for Mark, as we saw in the Tour, the two don't really go well together."

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