Mark Cavendish has been left out of Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl’s eight-man team for the Tour de France.
Fabio Jakobsen has been selected as the team's preferred sprinter, as expected, despite the British rider’s impressive form and his brilliant national road race title at the weekend.
After winning the National Championships in Dumfries and Galloway, Cavendish said: "I can at least show the reason I am not going on the Tour is not because I have got bad form."
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Last year, the 37-year-old equalled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage wins.
Before he knew the final team selection, Cavendish said: "I am going so much better than last year and you know what happened last year (at the Tour).
"I have trained as if I am going on the Tour, my condition is there, I am good enough to go on Tour, I know if I went I would win.”
However, Cavendish now has to settle for a place as a first reserve rider alongside Florian Senechal.
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Taking to social media following the announcement, Cavendish shared his disappointment.
He wrote, "I'm sad not to defend my Green Jersey or write even more history in the Worlds most incredible bike race".
"But, as always, I'll be cheering my teammates every single day. Stay safe and good luck boys", he went on to say.
Another notable absentee from the Quick-Step team is Julian Alaphilippe.
The world champion, who has been a stage winner in the past four editions of the Tour, only returned to racing last week after his recovery from a big crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
"The decision to leave Julian home was a very difficult one, as he is one of the team’s most emblematic riders and we wrote so many great moments together at the Tour,” said sports director Tom Steels.
"Julian worked hard to get back into shape after what happened to him in Liege, but it is felt that for a rider like him it’s always important to be on top of his game and be able to compete with the best riders of the peloton in a race like Le Tour.
"That’s why we decided to give him more time to recover and build back his condition, so that he can be at 100% for the second part of the season."
Alaphilippe added: "I am disappointed to not be at the Tour de France this year. I have a natural affection for the race, from my days in the yellow jersey over the past three seasons, my stage victories and many other great memories with my team-mates.
"To miss another opportunity to wear my beautiful rainbow jersey in my home country is very sad for me and I knew that this decision would be difficult for the team to take.
"At the same time, I completely understand this, because I too don’t want to be at the start if I can’t be at my best level."
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Stream the Tour de France live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
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