Cav 'heart-broken' by HTC-Highroad demise
Mark Cavendish has said that it is "heart-breaking" that his current team HTC-Highroad will fold at the end of the season after a deal with a potential new partner collapsed.
The British sprinter had helped the US outfit become cycling's most successful team in the last three years, with 47 wins for the men and 46 for the women in 2011.
Cavendish, who racked up 20 Tour de France stage wins with HTC-Highroad over the last five years and who won the green jersey with the team this summer said on Twitter: "After five incredible years, (it's) heart-breaking my team won't continue next year."
He added in a statement on his website: "I am obviously very disappointed that HTC Highroad will no longer be a team at the end of this season.
"I am hugely indebted and incredibly grateful to my teammates and all the staff for their support over the last five years and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together.
"A number of teams have expressed interest in me riding for them in 2012. I have now made a decision I am happy with and will be in a position to discuss my intentions once everything has been finalised."
HTC-Highroad team manager Bob Stapleton said a phone call on Sunday dashed any hopes he had of keeping the team alive.
"We had seven different teams offering mergers and an agreement with a new partner looked to be in place," Stapleton said.
"But the deal collapsed Sunday night when they called me during my wife's 50th birthday party.
"We reached the conclusion that the best thing would be to release the managers, staff and athletes."
As well as having five stage wins from Cavendish in this year's Tour, HTC's rider Tony Martin also won the individual time-trial and the prestigious Paris-Nice race.
The team also had three stage wins at this year's Giro d'Italia – two were from Cavendish with the other coming in the team time-trial.