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Bahrain-McLaren announced a Tour de France roster built around Spanish GC leader Mikel Landa, leaving Mark Cavendish out of the Tour yet again.
Landa will be supported by climbers Wout Poels, Damiano Caruso, Pello Bilbao, and Rafa Valls, while sprinter Sonny Colbrelli will seek stages, protected by Marco Haller and Matej Mahoric, who is likely to get his own stage chances.
Cavendish struggled to find form in the early stages of the modified COVID calendar. He most recently raced in the Tour de Wallonie, where his top finish was 28th in stage 1. His team set up a leadout that day but Cavendish was unable to hold the wheels in a fast, frantic finale.
Landa is coming off a largely anonymous but not worrying ride at the Criterium du Dauphine, where he finished 18th.
“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,” said team general manager Rod Ellingworth.
“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 released a video on Friday explaining his thoughts on his own form and wishing the TDF team well.
Bahrain-McLaren’s full Tour de France roster:
Mikel Landa (Spa), Pello Bilbao (Spa), Damiano Caruso (Ita), Sonny Colbrelli (Ita), Marco Haller (Aut), Matej Mohori? (Slo), Wout Poels (Ned), Rafa Valls (Spa)