The British sprinter was hoping for a place in Bahrain’s roster in this year’s race, having joined the squad early in the season to work with his former coach and mentor Rod Ellingworth.Ellingworth, who took over as team manager at Bahrain-McLaren last year, previously said Cavendish would need to win races to be selected for the Tour squad, but the player’s chances of 35 years were compromised when all races were suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Cavendish, winner of 30 Tour de France stages, has suffered from illness and injury in recent seasons, and has not won a race since the 2018 Dubai Tour.
Instead, Bahrain-McLaren will be fully focused on the overall standings ambitions of Mikel Landa, who also rode for Ellingworth when both were at Team Sky.
The team of eight riders will be made up mainly of good climbers and all-rounders, including Wout Poels, Pello Bilbao and Matej Mohorič.
Ellingworth said: “The Tour de France is the greatest moment of the year in cycling and I’m proud to say the whole team has done a great job preparing us for the Tour – we are where we need to be, and I am optimistic. on what we can achieve.
“This year’s course is very well suited to Mikel, and his form is strong. The group that we have chosen to accompany him represents our riders best suited to the route and ready for the Tour.
“The last few months have been tough for all the riders to get fit for the race, and it’s an honor to all of our guys that we were able to choose from such a strong lineup.
Cavendish’s omission from the Tour is another blow to UK fans, who also learned this week that neither Chris Froome nor Geraint Thomas will be racing for Team Ineos in France.
>>> Tour de France 2020 route: eight mountain finishes and uphill time trial to decide on the 107th edition
Gorazd Štangelj, Sporting Director in Bahrain, said: “Our team’s motto is ‘Ride as One’ and that’s what we’re going to do for Mikel at this year’s Tour. Mikel and his teammates were incredibly focused on this moment. We spent a lot of time and analysis selecting each pilot based on our GC ambition. We have done everything to prepare, and now the whole team is ready. “
Bahrain-McLaren team for the 2020 Tour de France
Mikel Landa (Esp)
Wout Poels (Ned)
Pello Bilbao (Esp)
Damiano Caruso (Ita)
Rafael Valls (Esp)
Marco Haller (Aut)
Matej Mohoric (Slo)
Sonny Colbrelli (Ita)