After finishing fifth in the race in Belgium, Cavendish talked about rumors that he could replace the injured Sam Bennett "We have to see," Cavendish said in a post-race interview at the Basloise Belgium Tour, as quoted by cyclingnews "We have the current green-jersey winner in Sam Bennett.
I think it’s right to see how he’s going before we think of anything else." Cavendish appeared on the Baloise Belgium tour just as a replacement for the injured Bennett and he won the final stage 5 "Belgium was always on my programme and Sam wanted to do it, so I got kicked out of it, so it’s serendipity that I’m back in it with Mørkøv and the rest of the guys; Ballerini, Stybar, Remco, Yves and Iijo.
That’s a hit team," Cavendish explained with pride. "That’s a team that any kid would dream of being in, and I’m a 36-year-old that’s been around for a lot of years." Deceuninck-QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere has previously talked to Cavendish about participating in another Grand Tour, and Cavendish believes that this will not be possible with the current salary.
Lefevere revealed what he thought about it “It's not fair to have a rider with a minimum contract as a Deceuninck-QuickStep lead sprinter, with all the pressure and expectations that come with it," Lefevere wrote.
Tour de France participating
Journalists wondered if Cavendish had talked to Lefever about participating in the Tour de France, and Cavendish neither confirmed nor denied his participation. "I don’t know. At the end of the day, it’s all talk," he said, clearly emotional after his sprint win where he beat possible Tour rivals Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).
"The reason the whole Tour de France came up - I didn’t mention it and Patrick didn’t mention it - I won in Tour of Turkey and all of a sudden the media started talking about it," Cavendish said. Cavendish believes that journalists are the ones who attract the most attention to certain topics with their headlines "This is a thing that happens a lot.
The thing with Eddy Merckx record? I never started that, it was the media that started that, and all of a sudden, it’s like, I’m going for it. "It’s the same with this. It’s you guys [the media] that started whether or not I should go to the Tour de France," Cavendish said.