Cavendish and Alaphilippe miss out on Tour de France selection

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Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl duo Mark Cavendish and Julian Alaphilippe have missed out on selection for the Tour de France.

Cavendish equalled the all-time record for stage wins at the Tour last year, matching Eddy Merckx's tally of 34 victories - which had stood since 1975.

The Manxman looked to have boosted his hopes of making the eight-man team by triumphing at the British National Road Championship on Sunday, having featured at the Giro d'Italia for the first time in nine years.

But Fabio Jakobsen has a superior record in sprints this season, with 10 wins compared to Cavendish's five, and the Dutchman has got the nod for Le Tour, which starts in Copenhagen on Friday.

Kasper Asgreen, Andrea Bagioli, Mattia Cattaneo, Tim Declercq, Mikkel Honore, Yves Lampaert and Michael Morkov are the other seven riders to be picked.

Cavendish and Florian Senechal were named as first-reserve riders on Monday, while Alaphilippe was not included.

"Over 3,300 kilometres and more than 55,000 meters of elevation promise to make for a tough race," Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Tom Steels said.

"After the first ITT, we have two other days in Denmark, which should be for the sprinters, that is if we won't have any echelons.

"The cobblestones stage will be a very tricky stage, as everyone will want to be at the front, and after this we'll have a lot of climbing, with many iconic ascents of the Tour de France.

"The climbers will get plenty of opportunities at this edition, unlike the sprinters, who'll have to fight in many of the stages against the time limit.

"Overall, the race has something for everyone, and that's why we are going there with a balanced team."

Alaphilippe was widely expected to be picked after racing in the French National Championships two months after his Liege–Bastogne–Liege crash, but there is no place for the popular 30-year-old.

"Concerning our reserves, we must stress out that they showed a lot of professionalism, continued to train and remained focused in these past couple of weeks, and even brought two victories at the Nationals," Steels added.

"The decision to leave Julian home was a very difficult one, as he is one of the team's most emblematic riders and we wrote so many great moments together at the Tour.

"Julian worked hard to get back into shape after what happened to him in Liege, but it is felt that for a rider like him it's always important to be on top of his game and be able to compete with the best riders of the peloton in a race like Le Tour.

"That's why we decided to give him more time to recover and build back his condition, so that he can be at 100 per cent for the second part of the season."

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