Vuelta a Espana: Mark Cavendish left out of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team
Last Updated: 20/08/14 1:42pm
Mark Cavendish has been left out of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step's team for the Vuelta a Espana and will instead focus on next month's Tour of Britain.
The 29-year-old Manxman had been included in a long-list of potential participants by organisers of the Spanish Grand Tour, but was not named in his Belgian squad's final nine-man line-up.
Cavendish, who dislocated his collarbone in a crash on stage one of last month’s Tour de France, returned to action in last week's Tour de l'Ain but is not yet in the sort of shape needed for a three-week Grand Tour.
He will now turn his attention to the Tour de Poitou Charentes, from August 26-29, and then the Tour of Britain, where he won three stages last year and which this year takes place from September 7-14.
Cavendish said: "After the injury, both myself and the team set a goal to get slowly back into a race environment at the Tour de l’Ain, which I have now done. It was not an easy race for me because naturally my shoulder was still bothering me a little as it continues to get stronger each day.
"I would like to be at the start for the Tour of Britain for another chance to race in front of British fans again this year which holds lots of fond memories. My goal there will be to do the best I possibly can depending on the condition I’m in."
Cavendish acted as a leadout rider for team-mate Gianni Meersman at the Tour de l'Ain.
Now the team believe that Mark needs a further intermediate step, which will be the Poitou Charentes.
His omission from the Vuelta team means that 2014 will be the first year since 2007 that he has not completed a Grand Tour.
Rolf Aldag, Omega Pharma - Quick-Step's sport and development manager, said: "Mark has proven that he has worked very hard since his crash at the Tour de France.
"Now the team believe that Mark needs a further intermediate step, which will be the Poitou Charentes, in order get some more competition kilometers into his legs and continue his progress of gradual re-entry into competition."
In Cavendish's absence, Omega Pharma-Quick Step will focus on helping Rigoberto Uran challenge the likes of Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana for overall victory at the Vuelta, which starts on Saturday.
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s team for the Vuelta a Espana: Rigoberto Uran (Col), Tom Boonen (Bel), Tony Martin (Ger), Wout Poels (Bel), Gianluca Brambilla (Ita), Pieter Serry (Bel), Carlos Verona (Spa), Martin Velits (Svk), Nikolas Maes (Bel).