Though Cavendish has two years remaining on his contract, Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford last month confirmed he can leave and Tour de France winner Wiggins believes it is an option he should pursue given the team’s preference to prioritise general classification (GC) wins.
“I understand why he has to [leave]. From a selfish point of view I’d love him to stay,” Wiggins said of the sprint specialist to whom GC wins are little use. “I enjoy his company but I understand why he has to leave.
“To see Mark on the Tour winning five or six stages, challenging for the green jersey – he probably has to go.”
Wiggins also confirmed that he is to compete in next month’s Tour of Britain as preparation for the road race World Championships in Holland after the period of rest that had followed the Games.
Team Sky have since continued to compete but the 32-year-old will return over the eight-stage tour that begins in Ipswich on September 9.
In his absence, team-mate Ben Swift yesterday finished third in the Vuelta a Espana’s second stage after a sprint finish in which Australia’s Allan Davis and Germany’s John Degenkolb respectively took second and first, though Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo retains the race lead.