No Tour de France for Mark Cavendish

No Tour de France for Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish won’t be at the 2019 Tour de France. The 34-year-old has battled with health problems over the past couple of years, twice missing racing due to Epstein Barr virus, and hasn’t returned to form in 2019. So, it wasn’t entirely surprising that his name was missing when Dimension Data released their Tour lineup today. But the decisions impact is huge, it may just be the end of an era. Which makes Dimension’s lack of announcement regarding his absence a bit weird.

Cavendish’s reaction is available on Twitter:

Cavendish has started several races this season, but the 30-time Tour stage winner has not take a single victory since early in 2018. The best he’s done was a third-place finish on stage 3 of the Tour of Turkey. At this point it seems very unlikely that he’ll ever get to Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins or best it.

There is an interesting inclusion on Dimension Data’s lineup:

Cap Nr. Rider TDD Debut Best Result
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen 2015 3 x stage wins
2 Stephen Cummings 2015 2 x stage wins
5 Reinardt Janse v. Rensburg 2015 8th on stage
19 Michael Valgren 2019 4th on stage
20 Roman Kreuziger 2019 4 x GC top 10
21 Giacomo Nizzolo 2019 n/a
22 Ben King 2019 n/a
23 Lars Bak 2019 4th on stage

American  Ben King will carry the team’s ambitions in the mountains.

“I finally got the call that I’ve been waiting for!” King said. “For many Americans, the Tour is the only race that they know so it’s a huge deal. I can finally tell everyone who asks every year ‘Yes, I’ll be there.’ It’s a massive honour but also a huge responsibility, there’s really nothing like it.”

It is King’s second participation in the Tour, after making his debut in 2014. King might just have a chance in one of those breakaway stages, he took two stages at the 2018 Vuelta a España.