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Tour de France: No Mark Cavendish as Bahrain-McLaren go all in for Landa

British Mark Cavendish of BahrainMerida pictured at stage 2 of the UAE Tour 2020 cycling race 168km from Hatta to Hatta Dam in Dubai United Arab Emirates Monday 24 February 2020 This years edition is taking place from 23 February to 29 February BELGA PHOTO YUZURU SUNADA FRANCE OUT Photo by YUZURU SUNADABELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images
Mark Cavendish (Bahrain McLaren) at the UAE Tour earlier this season (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

There is no space for Mark Cavendish on the Bahrain McLaren team for the Tour de France with the squad fully supportive of Mikel Landa’s pursuit of a top overall finish.

Landa is backed up by a number of climbers but there is also room for versatile sprinter Sonny Colbrelli. Dylan Teuns, who won stage 6 atop La Planche des Belles Filles last July, is also absent from the lineup, with WielerFlits reporting that the Belgian suffered back problems at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Team manager Rod Ellingworth has made it clear that the team will be based around Landa, who finished fourth in the 2017 Tour de France.

"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," he said.

"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."

Landa will be supported by a strong core of climbers, including Damiano Caruso and fellow new addition for 2020, Wout Poels. Newly-crowned Spanish time trial champion Pello Bilbao also makes the cut.

"The Dauphiné and Vuelta a Burgos were both tough races and timely rehearsals for the Tour de France," said Landa.

"I'll be starting this Tour in very good shape, and am greatly motivated by how I'm feeling, as well as the strength and quality of my teammates who'll be supporting me on the road. Together, as a team, we can achieve a lot."

Bahrain McLaren Tour de France squad

Mikel Landa (Spa), Pello Bilbao (Spa), Damiano Caruso (Ita), Sonny Colbrelli (Ita), Marco Haller (Aut), Matej Mohorič (Slo), Wout Poels (Ned), Rafa Valls (Spa)

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