Britain’s Mark Cavendish and France’s Julian Alaphilippe have missed out on a spot in the upcoming Tour de France, their Quick-Step team announced on Monday.
Two-time road cycling world champion Alaphilippe did not return to competition until Sunday, two months after suffering multiple fractures from a hard fall at the Liege-Bastogne-Liège race in Belgium.
The 37-year-old Cavendish equaled Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France record last year with 34 stage victories to claim a second British road racing world title on Sunday.
Alaphilippe, 30, wore the yellow jersey for the last three stages.
But the Belgian team has opted for Dutch rider Fabio Jacobsen, who has 10 wins in 2022 and will be backed by Dane Michael Morkov.
Danish riders Kasper Asgrin, winner of the 2021 Tour of Flanders, and Tour rookie Mikkel Honore have also been selected to compete in the three-week race starting in Copenhagen on 1 July.
Alaphilippe returned to racing on Sunday at the French Championship and helped his teammate Florian Seneschal to victory.
“I really came to see where I was, to make an effort,” Alaphilippe said.
“I can’t say that I had a lot of fun, but I was better than I thought, so I’m happy.”
Quick Step athletic director Tom Steels justified Alaphilippe’s absence by “giving him more time to recover and rebuild his condition so he can be 100 percent in the second part of the season.”
“We have riders who can support Fabio, riders who can climb but can also do something in the breakaway. Kasper, Yves (Lampart) and Michael (Morkov) will make a strong lead group for Fabio,” Steels explained.
“Tim (Declerc) will be the driver who will help him not only on the flats, but also in the mountains, where he will make sure that Fabio respects the time limit.
“Mattia (Cattaneo) has more experience now and can make some breaks. Mikkel has improved a lot since joining the team and deserves his spot, while Andrea (Bagioli) has shown he has the mentality to compete against the best,” added Steels.
The Seneschal and Cavendish were appointed as replacements.
The Quick-Step team at the Tour de France:
Casper Asgrin (DEN), Andrea Bagioli (ITA), Mattia Cattaneo (ITA), Tim Declerc (BEL), Mikkel Honore (DEN), Fabio Jacobsen (NED), Yves Lampert (BEL), Michael Morkov (DEN)