There has been no denial from Mark Cavendish after his Bahrain-McLaren side left him out of their 2020 Tour de France roster.
Cavendish, who sits second on the Tour de France’s all-time stage win list with 30 wins, said he just wasn’t ready for this year’s tough course.
“Simply put, I don’t feel ready for the Tour de France this year,” Cavendish said in a video message. “It’s the hardest course I have seen it in my entire career and I am a driver who needs a lot of races to start. We haven’t had that this year with COVID-19. ”
Indeed, the route of the Tour de France 2020 is full of climbing stages and hilly days, with only three flat stages aimed at heavy sprinters like Cavendish. Many of the sport’s best fast men are skipping the Tour de France completely this year, with top sprinters Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Arnaud Demaré (Groupama-FDJ) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) all choosing to race the Giro d’Italia instead.
In announcing his roster, Bahrain-McLaren officials referred to the difficult Tour de France course to justify his roster decision. The team brings a team of climbers and rollers to help Mikel Landa run a GC race.
“With Bahrain-McLaren we have an incredible GC contender with Mikel Landa,” Cavendish said. “And an incredibly strong team to support him – I know I will support the team wherever I am. ”
Cavendish has taken a total of 14 days of racing since the sport returned from stopping COVID-19, and his results in that streak did not suggest the sprinter was in top form. Cavendish left the Vuelta a Burgos with a 13th place in the stage 2 sprint – he was well behind winner Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) in the dash to the line.
Cavendish again failed in the top 10 in the fast and furious sprints of the Tour of Poland, where he finished 14th in the spectacular first stage, which saw Fabio Jakobsen hospitalized after crashing into a barrier on the finish at high speed . The next day, Cavendish sprinted in 12th place.
During the recent Tour de Wallonie, Cavendish finished well behind on all four stages.
Cavendish has the 2020 European Road Championships on their upcoming shopping list, however, the team has not disclosed what the remainder of their 2020 season will involve. Cavendish said he plans to use upcoming races to build his form in 2021.
” I look forward. I’m super excited for the rest of the year, ”Cavendish said. “We have good goals, good aligned races. I can’t wait to use it for a great year next year too. “