Mark Cavendish will not ride Milan-San Remo, his team have confirmed.
The Brit had been expected to ride the first Monument of the season for Dimension Data, but has been returning to form after a long illness.
Cavendish was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus in 2017 and has been on the road to recovery since.
The 33-year-old Manxman pulled out of Paris-Nice last week on stage two, with his team saying he still needed to “work his way back towards full fitness.”
After Cavendish abandoned Paris-Nice, Dimension Data sports director Rolf Aldag said: “Mark Cavendish was forced to stop on the back of a challenging two days.
“The race was just his third back, following already tough outings at the Vuelta a San Juan and the UAE Tour, as he continues to work his way back towards full fitness following a long lay-off from racing due to illness last year.”
The team announced their line-up for Milan-San Remo on Thursday morning (March 21), confirming that Cavendish would not start.
Instead the South African outfit will be resting their hopes with sprinter Giacomo Nizzoli, who joined the team this season, and strong lead-out rider Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
Cavendish, who won the 2009 Milan-San Remo, is currently down to ride Scheldeprijs and the Tour de France.
After being eliminated from last year’s Tour for finishing outside the time cut on stage 11, Cavendish then only rode the RideLondon-Surrey Classic in July before ending his season.
He returned to racing at the Vuelta a San Juan in January, taking a top-10 finish on stage one.
Cavendish then lined up at the UAE Tour, finishing 10th and 13th on the opening two stages.
But the frantic crosswind racing in Paris-Nice took its toll on the peloton, with Cavendish being one of nine riders abandoning by stage two.
Dimension Data line-up for Milan-San Remo 2019
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
Tom Jelte Slagter