Mark Cavendish should leave Team Sky - Bradley Wiggins

Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish

Bradley Wiggins thinks fellow Briton Mark Cavendish needs to leave Team Sky to further his career.

With Sky prioritising overall race wins rather than individual stage victories, Wiggins feels Cavendish would achieve more success with another outfit.

"Unfortunately for Mark, the two don't really go well together," said Wiggins. "I enjoy his company but I understand why he has to leave."

Cavendish has just over two years left on his contract with Team Sky.

But Sky boss Dave Brailsford has already said the world road race champion can move on, making it clear that his team are targeting sustained general classification success in the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana over anything else.

Cavendish, 27, is the world's best sprinter, taking his tally of stage wins on the Tour de France to 23 and putting him fourth on the overall list, behind Eddie Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Andre Leducq.

The Isle of Man star also won the green jersey, awarded to the rider who accumulates the highest number of sprint points, on the 2011 Tour.

But his tally of three stage wins this year was his lowest since his abortive Tour debut in 2007 and led to speculation he could quit the team.

As Wiggins claimed an historic victory for Sky, becoming the first Briton to win the prestigious race, Cavendish likened his role to striker Wayne Rooney playing in defence.

"From a selfish point of view, I'd love him to stay," said Wiggins, adding that if Cavendish is to challenge for the green jersey again he "probably has to go".

Wiggins will return to competitive action in the Tour of Britain next month after taking gold in the Olympic time trial at London 2012.