Cavendish joins Deceuninck-Quick Step for 2021

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FILE PHOTO: Six Day London

PARIS (Reuters) - Briton Mark Cavendish is joining Deceuninck-Quick Step for the 2021 season, the Belgian outfit where the former world champion spent three years said on Saturday.

"Mark Cavendish is returning to Deceuninck–Quick Step after five years... the Manxman has agreed to sport the new kit of the team, which will be revealed in a couple of days, throughout the 2021 season," Deceuninck-Quick Step said in a statement.

Cavendish, who has won 30 stages on the Tour de France and is considered one of the best sprinters in the event's history, left the then Etixx-Quick Step team after the 2015 season to join Dimension Data before spending a season at Bahrain-McLaren.

The 35-year-old has not won a race since February 2018, when he prevailed in the third stage of the Dubai Tour.

"I can’t explain how delighted I am to be joining Deceuninck-Quick Step," said Cavendish, who this season had briefly hinted at retirement.

"I have never hidden my affection for my time with the team and to me this genuinely feels like I am coming home.

"As well as the incredible group of riders, I can’t wait to start working again with the staff, most of which were here during my first spell and were part of one of the most successful periods of my career, an era that I am immensely proud of."

As well as 30 Tour stage wins, 2011 world champion Cavendish has won 15 stages on the Giro d'Italia and three on the Vuelta.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)