Cavendish left out of Tour de France squad

British rider Mark Cavendish has 30 career stage victories at the Tour de France, four short of retired Belgian Eddy Merckx's record. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Mark Cavendish has not been selected for this month's Tour de France by his team Dimension Data.

The 34-year-old will not get his chance to top Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage victories at the Tour de France.

Cavendish was not included on Dimension Data's eight-rider squad announcement on Tuesday, ending his hopes to appear at this year's race and improving on his career 30 stage victories at the Tour de France.

Cavendish, the dominant sprinter of his generation, has been struggling to rediscover his speed since he was diagnosed in April 2017 with the Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause fatigue and inflammation.

The Isle of Man rider was eliminated from last year's race when he failed to meet the cut time on stage 11.

Cavendish, who in 2011 was the first Briton to win the Tour's green points jersey, has been a regular at the race since making his tour debut in 2007.

Cavendish hasn't missed a Tour since his first in 2007 but he hasn't won a stage since he took four in 2016 to overhaul Bernard Hinault on the list of stage winners.

Without Cavendish, the headliners for Dimension Data will be Roman Kreuziger, who has four top-10 finishes at the Tour, and Edvald Boasson Hagen, who has three stage wins. Cavendish has been replaced by Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo, who won a stage at the Tour of Slovenia.

The Tour de France begins starts in Brussels on Saturday, 6 July.