Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team manager Patrick Lefevere said that Mark Cavendish will likely miss out on selection for the Tour de France, with Fabio Jakobsen the preferred sprinter.
The Manxman will only be considered should Jakobsen have any issues, and a final call will be made following the conclusion of the Tour de Suisse on June 21, as the eight riders will be confirmed.
However, with Covid-19 an ever-present threat, teams will be keeping a number of riders on standby, and that includes Cavendish.
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Lefevere, in quotes published by cyclingnews via Het Nieuwsblad, said: “We always work with a long list: a number of riders already know from the first training camp of the season that we are looking at them for the Tour. After Switzerland we will go from eleven names to the final eight names.
“It is no secret that we are going to sprint in the Tour with Fabio Jakobsen. Although I will continue to speak with two names until ad nauseam.
“Last year, Sam Bennett was also a certainty, so to speak, but in the end Cavendish went to the Tour. I talked to him on the last weekend of the Giro. Mark said: ‘I'm a pro, I'll be ready until the last day.’”
One man who Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl hope to have available is world champion Julian Alaphilippe.
The Frenchman has endured a torrid time following illness and injuring his lung, ribs and shoulder in a high-speed crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Alaphilippe is now back in training at altitude with the hope of being fit enough to make the Tour, which begins on July 1.
“If Alaphilippe gets fit, he will come,” Lefevere added. “We're not going to be secretive about that.
"He is making good progress with altitude training in the Sierra Nevada, but with all due respect: there is a big difference between training uphill with Yves Lampaert or Tim Declercq and effectively participating in the race.”

Kasper Asgreen during Gent-Wevelgem

Image credit: Getty Images

Another topic up for debate was the position of the team car within the Tour de France convoy, allowing riders to be serviced and supported as quickly as possible.
This means that Kasper Asgreen will target the time trial, despite having little chance of victory against Filippo Ganna and Wout van Aert.
“If you give up the time trial, you also give up the classification and you drive in the support car in position 20 behind the peloton,” Lefevere explained.
“You don't want to experience that if the cobblestone ride to Arenberg is planned on Wednesday. We are counting on Kasper Asgreen for the time trial. Remi Cavagna is also an option.
“We will not go to the Tour with an outspoken classification man, even without his difficult preparation, we would not burn out Alaphilippe that way. But because of the convoy position, we have to stay near our riders. For that reason, Mattia Cattaneo and Dries Devenyns can be used anywhere in the team and at the same time can ride classification.”
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