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.