Mark Cavendish’s chances of being selected for Tour de France hurt by lack of racing, says Rod Ellingworth

The British sprinter does not have a guaranteed spot on the Tour team, his boss has said

(Image credit: GodingImages/PA Images)

Mark Cavendish’s hopes of a Tour de France comeback have been hurt by coronavirus, his boss has said.

Rod Ellingworth, the new team principal at Bahrain-McLaren said that the suspension of racing due to the global pandemic means Cavendish has missed out on chances to prove himself.

British sprinting star Cavendish was left out of Tour by his old team last year, but was hoping for a fresh start as he moved to Bahrain-McLaren for 2020, teaming up with his old coach and mentor Ellingworth.

But after starting his season in supporting roles in the Middle East, Cavendish has missed out on opportunities to hone his form after the UCI suspended all racing in March.

Ellingworth, a founding member of Team Sky who left the British squad in 2019, told the PA news agency: “We made an agreement that if he was winning races, that would be enough to go to the Tour.

“Unfortunately that changes and with so little racing beforehand it cuts his chances of being able to prove he’s back at a decent level.”

Ellingworth added that Cavendish, who is now with Bahrain-McLaren on a one-year contract after struggling through illness and injury in recent season, is still technically one of the best sprinters in the world and that he contributes to the team with his mindset and goal-setting.

While Cavendish has not been given a guaranteed spot on the Tour squad, even with his star status, Ellingworth said the 35-year-old wouldn't want a place handed to him if he didn't have the form.

Despite being the most successful sprinter in Tour de France history, with 30 stage wins to his name, Cavendish hasn’t crossed the line first for more than two years and hasn't won a Tour stage since 2016.

>>> Chris Froome says Team Ineos will have three leaders at the Tour de France 2020 

WorldTour racing is currently scheduled to return in August, giving Cavendish just a month to score some results in smaller races before the Tour stars in Nice on August 29

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1