Mark Cavendish will not take part in the Tour de France for the first time since 2006, after Team Dimension Data revealed this morning that their eight-man squad will not include the Manx sprinter.
With 30 individual stage wins to his name and a 2011 points classification victory, Cavendish is still hunting down the all-time record of 34 stage wins, held by Eddy Merckx; however it's now been confirmed that he won't be able to make an attempt to close the gap this year. He's lined up at every edition of Le Tour since 2007, and of those twelve years he only failed to win stages in 2014, 2017 and 2018.
Cavendish has struggled to return to his peak form after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr Virus, with no victories at any of his 2019 race appearances. He finished 22nd at the National Road Race Championships last week.
— Team Dimension Data (@TeamDiData) July 2, 2019
The riders chosen for Dimension Data's eight-man Tour de France roster are Edvald Boasson Hagen, Stephen Cummings, Reinardt Janse v. Rensburg, Michael Valgren, Roman Kreuziger, Giacomo Nizzolo, Ben King and Lars Bak.
They will likely look to Boasson Hagen and Nizzolo for sprint stage wins, the former having won three Tour stages and the latter winning a stage at the Tour of Slovenia last month.
Steve Cummings is perhaps the least obvious inclusion, commenting: “I was pleasantly surprised about the Tour selection, I wasn’t expecting that. I’m very grateful to the team again for the opportunity to go to the Tour and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think it’s a pretty open Tour, there are a lot of chances to be aggressive and I think it suits the team that we have very well and I hope that we can have a great July and everyone can be proud of us.”
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.