Mark Cavendish not picked for Tour de France by Team Dimension Data
By PA Media
Last Updated: 02/07/19 10:47am
Mark Cavendish has been left out of Team Dimension Data's eight-man squad for the Tour de France.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Stephen Cummings, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Michael Valgren, Roman Kreuziger, Giacomo Nizzolo, Ben King and Lars Bak have been selected ahead of the 34-year-old.
Team Dimension Data explained the decision in a statement, saying: "Selection for our Tour squad was a highly competitive process and one in which a panel weighed up the options provided to us not only by Mark but indeed all of our riders.
"As you'd expect among a selection panel, there were a number of different preferences of the final squad make up with our team principal, Doug Ryder, making the final decision on it.
"This selection is one the team believes will be best suited to meet the goals set out for the race."
The 106th edition of the Tour begins on Saturday in Brussels, but it will be the first time since 2007 that Cavendish - one of the dominant sprinters of his generation - will not be competing.
The British rider, whose best result this season was third place on stage three of the Tour of Turkey in April, is four shy of equalling Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34 stage wins in the race.
However, Cavendish has not won a stage at the Tour de France since 2016 and has been struggling to rediscover his speed since being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause fatigue, in 2017.
He competed in the Tour of Slovenia last month and then finished 22nd at the British National Championships road race on Sunday.
In 2011, Cavendish became the first Briton to win the green jersey at the Tour after finishing with five stage victories.