Tour de France: Mark Cavendish’s chances not ‘automatic’, says boss

Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish has 30 Tour de France stage wins

Mark Cavendish’s chances of being selected for this year’s Tour de France have been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, says Bahrain-McLaren team principal Rod Ellingworth.

Cavendish, 35, has 30 Tour stage victories but his last two seasons have been plagued by injury and illness.

With races postponed since March, he has had no chance to prove his fitness.

“He doesn’t have automatic selection for the Tour and he doesn’t want it,” Ellingworth said.

“He doesn’t want it just handed to him. But 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.”

Cavendish joined Bahrain-McLaren in October 2019 on a one-year deal, joining forces again with former coach Ellingworth.

Ellingworth’s team will target the yellow jersey in the rescheduled Tour – set to take place from 29 August-20 September – but he says that doesn’t mean there is no room for Cavendish in the line-up.

“Technically he’s one of the best sprinters in the world, and if he’s got the form he’s proved many times he can do it with or without a lead-out train,” he said.

“Mark brings a lot of value to the team, just in terms of his mindset and his goal-setting.”

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