Mark Cavendish leaves Team Sky for QuickStep

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LONDON (AP) -- Team Sky says cycling sprint star Mark Cavendish is leaving to join Belgian's Omega Pharma-QuickStep for the 2013 season.

The British rider won three Tour de France stages this season in his only year with Team Sky, which he joined from HTC-Highroad at the end of the 2011 season.

But the British team says a "clash of priorities" meant Cavendish was always likely to leave, with the 2011 world champion forced into a support role for Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour de France this year.

Cavendish, widely regarded as cycling's top sprinter, has won a total of 23 stages on the Tour.