The British sprinter had been hoping for a spot on the Bahrain roster at this year’s race, having joined the team at the start of the season to work with his former coach and mentor Rod Ellingworth.
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Ellingworth, who took over as team principal at Bahrain-McLaren last year, previously said that Cavendish would need to win races to be selected for the Tour squad, but the 35-year-old’s chances were hurt when all racing was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cavendish, winner of 30 Tour de France stages, has struggled through illness and injury in recent seasons, and hasn’t won a race since the 2018 Dubai Tour.
Instead, Bahrain-McLaren will be fully focused on the general classification ambitions of Mikel Landa, who also rode for Ellingworth when both were at Team Sky.
The eight-rider team will consist mostly strong climbers and all-rounders, including Wout Poels, Pello Bilbao and Matej Mohorič.
Ellingworth said: “The Tour de France is the biggest moment of the year in cycling and I’m proud to say the entire team has done a great job getting us Tour ready – we are where we need to be, and I’m optimistic about what we can achieve.
“This year’s parcours is very well suited to Mikel, and his form is strong. The group we have chosen to support him represents our riders who are most suited to the parcours and Tour-ready.
“The past few months have been challenging for all riders to be race fit, and it’s a credit to all of our guys that we had such a strong line-up to choose from.”
Cavendish’s omission from the Tour is another blow to British fans, who also learned this week that neither Chris Froome nor Geraint Thomas will be riding for Team Ineos in France.
Gorazd Štangelj, sports director at Bahrain, said: “Our team 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 have been incredibly focused on this moment. We’ve put a lot of time and analysis into picking each rider against our GC ambition. We’ve done all we can to prepare, and now the whole team is ready.”
Bahrain-McLaren squad for the Tour de France 2020
Mikel Landa (Esp)
Wout Poels (Ned)
Pello Bilbao (Esp)
Damiano Caruso (Ita)
Rafael Valls (Esp)
Marco Haller (Aut)
Matej Mohorič (Slo)
Sonny Colbrelli (Ita)