Mark Cavendish has left Team Sky after just one year to join Omega Pharma-Quick Step. The Isle of Man born sprinter has signed a three year deal with the Belgian team.
Cavendish's departure was widely expected after disappointing year for the former World Champion. The sprinter's underperformance was due in large part to Team Sky's inability to accommodate both his and Bradley Wiggins' ambitions.
Despite this Cavendish's time at Sky was far from a disaster. He won 15 races for Team Sky including three stages in this year's Tour de France and his first stage race. Cavendish has also spoken of his pleasure in being part of a Tour de France winning team.
Still at times he must have been frustrated by the lack of support he enjoyed, a fact compounded by his failure to succeed in his main aim of winning the Olympic road race.
At Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cavendish will be looking to achieve the kind of sprint domination he managed in 2010 and 2011. In both year's he took five Tour de France stages as well as points jerseys in the 2010 Vuelta a Espana and 2011 Tour de France.
In an official statement following his departure Team Sky Team Principle Dave Brailsford said:
"Mark has been a true champion for Team Sky this year"
"It's been great having the rainbow jersey in this team and great to work closely with a rider I've know since he was a junior"
"He has been a real team player, making history in a Tour de France team"
"The sight of him winning in Paris, with the yellow jersey leading out the world champion - both in Team Sky kit - is something you'll never forget"
"Mark also gets what Team Sky stands for and has been a real ambassador, on and off the bike, helping to inspire more people to ride and to love this sport.
"We all wish Mark the very best with his future ambitions in a new team and as a British rider."