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‘Not ready’ Cavendish to miss Tour de France again

Bahrain McLaren’s veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish said on Friday he will miss the Tour de France for a second straight season as he feels under-prepared for this year’s race due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cavendish, 35, has won an impressive 30 stages in his Tour career but his last was in 2016.

“Simply put I don’t think I’m ready this year for the Tour de France,” Cavendish said in a video on Twitter.

“It’s the hardest I’ve seen in my career and I’m a rider that needs a lot of racing to get going and I just haven’t had that this year with COVID-19,” he added.

His team will be led by Spaniard Mikel Landa, who finished fourth on the 2017 Tour and has also won stages on the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

“I am going to start the Tour in very good form,” said Landa, 30, who was well-placed at the recent Criterium du Dauphine before fading to 18th overall.

Landa will look to the support of the in-form Wout Poels in the mountains as well as Damiano Caruso and Pello Bilbao.

The 2020 Tour gets underway in Nice on August 29.

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