"Welcome on board Mr Cavendish"

Britain's cycling ace Mark Cavendish will compete for the Belgian team Omega Pharma-Quick Step next season. His future team mates in the Belgian squad have reacted positively to his transfer. His present colleagues at Sky like Bradley Wiggins are sad to see him leave.

Mark Cavendish, the 2011 World Champion in Copenhagen, had a contract at Sky for two more years, but was not happy with the fact that Sky focused on the GC in last summer's Tour de France, building almost the whole team around Bradley Wiggins. This was not to the liking of ambitious Mark Cavendish, who wants to have a team built around him in next year's Tour de France.

Belgium's cycling champion Tom Boonen will be one of Cavendish's team mates next season. Normally, Boonen will head the squad in the cobble stone classics like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. In the Tour de France, Boonen could help Cavendish in the final kilometres in the lead-out to the final sprint. However, it remains unclear what will happen if both champions have the same ambitions to win a certain race. Which tactics will team manager Patrick Lefevere apply in Milan-Sanremo for example? 

Questions for the future, as for the moment everyone in the team welcomes Cavendish. "Welcome to the Omega Pharma-Quick Step cycling team", Belgium's Iljo Keisse tweeted. "Good choice", another Fleming, Kristof Vandewalle, posted on Twitter.

Germany's Bert Grabsch heard the news on holiday and said he was "proud to ride for MC next year again".

"Sad to see my team mate leaving Sky, it's been a pleasure this year and the highlight leading out the man on the Champs", Tour winner Bradley Wiggins posted, referring to his part in the lead-out for the final sprint in Paris, on the Champs Elysées (small photo).