BRUSSELS ( Associated Press) – Two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe and ace runner Mark Cavendish will not be at the starting line when the Tour de France starts in Copenhagen on Friday.
Alaphilippe has not recovered adequately in the two months since his horrific crash in Lige-Bastogne-Lige, his Quick-Step Alfa Vinyl team said on Monday when it pulled down its eight-man roster for cycling’s biggest race ever. unveiled.
Cavendish, who rides for the same team and matched Eddie Merckx’s all-time record of 34 Tour stage wins last year, also missed the cut. He was named as the first-reserve rider despite winning the British national title over the weekend.
“With respect to our reserves, we must emphasize that they showed a lot of professionalism, continued to train and remain focused these past few weeks,” said Tom Steels, sports director for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
The Belgian outfit will be led by another sprinter Fabio Jacobsen, who has 10 wins this season.
Alaphilippe only resumed racing at the French national championships last weekend.
He was forced to abandon the Belgian Classic in April after being involved in a massive accident and hitting a tree at high speed. Alaphilip broke a shoulder blade and two ribs and sustained a collapsed lung.
“It is very sad for me to miss another chance to wear my beautiful rainbow jersey in my country and I knew it would be a difficult decision for the team to make,” said Alaphilippe. “At the same time, I understand it completely, because I also don’t want to be in the beginning if I can’t be at my best.”
With his unpredictable strategy and appetite for spectacular attacks, Alaphilip is a fan favorite. He has won Tour stages in the last four editions and wore the race leader’s yellow jersey for 14 days in 2019.
Steeles said the decision to leave Alaphilippe at home was “very difficult, as he is one of the most emblematic riders on the team and we wrote many great moments together on the Tour.”
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