The Cav team question rumbles on: B&B Hotels' press conference is off – CyclingTips

Get the popcorn ready.
by Jonny Long
photography by Getty Images
Mark Cavendish to B&B Hotels-KTM looked a certainty at the end of last week. A press conference was planned for this week in Paris, on Wednesday, October 26. The British sprinter had apparently been spotted trying on the 2023 B&B kit alongside his “new” teammates. Everything was in order.
As recently as Friday, the French team indicated that the press conference was still going ahead. In preparation, the world’s English-language cycling media made plans to make their B&B Hotels press conference debuts. On Monday, that press conference was cancelled.
“Hello everyone,” began the message from B&B Hotels. “Due to the absence of some of the main stakeholders in the 2023 team’s project, there will be no press conference held by the B&B Hotels-KTM team this week.
“We will keep you posted on the date when it will be held. Have a good evening and see you soon.”
Just as the press conference was cancelled, little birdies began chirping about a late swap to Israel-Premier Tech, a move that would make sense on a number of levels, not least of which is the fact that Cavendish already speaks English, the main language of that team. A ready-made leadout awaits, too. And IPT certainly isn’t afraid of Cav’s age, if we go by their history of major signings.
It works in the other direction as well. Why would IPT swoop for the British sprinter this late in the day? Perhaps their relegation from the WorldTour looks more certain, perhaps a potential appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport looks increasingly like an unsuccessful venture. Israel-Premier Tech won’t be guaranteed any WorldTour wildcards next year, including to the Tour de France. They need other ways of guaranteeing inclusion. Cavendish in your roster is pretty close to a guarantee of a Tour spot for your team, especially given he is one Tour stage win off breaking the record. This fact was evident to the management at B&B Hotels and a major factor in the ProTeam’s interest. Signing Cavendish could be a relatively cheap ticket to the 2023 Tour.
Maybe Israel-Premier Tech offered more money. The Manxman is surely already well sorted for retirement and beyond, but retiring before your 40th birthday is as good an incentive as any to take the best contracts possible at each juncture of your career. Israel-Premier Tech is also more of an international team too, with a veteran Anglo-speaking core.
All this appears to have been spurred by photographs that emerged over the weekend of Mark Cavendish hanging out with Factor Bikes CEO Rob Gitelis at the Leblanq celebrity cycling holiday extravaganza in Ibiza. Factor supplies bikes to Israel-Premier Tech, but that seems to be the extent of the connection here. Our first thought was that maybe Factor would be moving over to B&B Hotels, replacing KTM, given the pull that Cavendish has for sponsors of teams. But even that seems specious, as sources indicate B&B moving to BMC bikes is much more likely.
A post shared by Rob Gitelis (@robgitelis)
The late press conference cancellation throws a small wrench in what seemed to be a settled story, but our reporting continues to support the notion that Cavendish is headed to B&B Hotels in 2023. In addition, multiple sources close to and inside Israel-Premier Tech indicate that they have heard nothing of an impending Cavendish arrival.
But lurking in the back of our minds was the nagging sensation that there could be more to this than meets the eye. It is possible, even likely, that the deal with B&B is not fully across the line just yet. Until everything is signed, everything can change.
On paper, a move to IPT makes more sense than a move to B&B. IPT is a team with deep pockets and the need for a proven winner to pick themselves up from a bruising season culminating in relegation. From the few snippets we’ve heard, it may not be the craziest suggestion in the world.
A post shared by Rob Gitelis (@robgitelis)
Obviously, this is all spurious rumour. Mere conjecture, except for the bits that aren’t. I’m sure we’ll hear soon. We’re desperately trying to find out more in spite of the journalistic void of the off-season. Could it happen? Yes. Will it happen?
Ehh, probably not.
© 2022 Outside Interactive, Inc.


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