Mark Cavendish’s chances of being selected for this year’s Tour de France have been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, said Rod Ellingworth, team manager of Bahrain-McLaren.
Cavendish, 35, has 30 stage wins on the Tour, but his last two seasons have been plagued by injury and illness.
With races postponed since March, he had no chance to prove his physical condition.
“He doesn’t have automatic selection for the Tour and he doesn’t want one,” said Ellingworth.
“He doesn’t want us to give it to him. But we agreed that if he won races, it would be enough to go on the Tour.
“Unfortunately, that is changing and with so little racing ahead, it reduces his chances of being able to prove that he has returned to a decent level. “
Cavendish joined Bahrain-McLaren in October 2019 for one year, joining his former trainer Ellingworth again.
Ellingworth’s team will aim for the yellow jersey in the rescheduled Tour – scheduled to take place from August 29 to September 20 – but said that does not mean there is no place for Cavendish in training.
“Technically, he is one of the best sprinters in the world, and if he is in good shape, he has repeatedly proven that he can do it with or without head gear,” he said.
“Mark brings a lot of value to the team, just in terms of their mindset and their goal setting. “