The Belgian has also ruled out the possibility of taking on the two sprinters, as Cavendish has proven to be reborn since joining the team at the start of the year, saying the presence of the 30-time stage winner would cause too much of distraction to the winner of the green jersey last year. .“Sam isn’t the strongest in his head. If all goes well he gets stronger and stronger, as we saw on the Tour last year, but if he has any doubts and we bring someone like the second sprinter, and he has Mark Cavendish on his wheel, he’s getting nervous about it. Very nervous, ”said Lefevere Cyclismenews.
“We want to rely on Sam 200%, being honest and fair, even if he leaves the team. There are teams that, if you don’t resign, won’t bring you to the Tour, but I never get involved in this kind of case. “
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Cavendish was recruited as a last-minute replacement for Bennett at the Tour of Belgium, where he won the final stage, his biggest win since returning to Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Then news emerged that Cavendish was in Italy preparing as if on his way to the Tour, as doubt continued to hang over Bennett’s condition.
However, with Bennett in good shape, Lefevere says he didn’t hesitate to select the Irishman, although the sprinter is expected to leave at the end of the season. As one of the best sprinters in the peloton, Bennett will offer the best opportunity to win on the many flat stages of this year’s Tour, facing his friend and rival Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), as well as potentially setting up a green defense. of the jersey.
The full Deceuninck – Quick-Step team for the Tour is expected to be announced in the coming days, with Julian Alaphilippe accompanied by a strong supporting cast.