Cavendish 'heartbroken' over Tour de France omission

Mark Cavendish couldn't hide his disappointment over his Tour de France omission. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Mark Cavendish has said that he is "absolutely heartbroken" after being omitted from the Tour de France by his team Dimension Data.

The team's decision on Tuesday means that Cavendish, 34, will not get the opportunity to overhaul Eddy Merckx's record of 34 Tour de France stage wins this year.

Cavendish has been struggling to find his best form since he was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus two years ago but he took to social media to express his disappointment on missing out on the squad.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken by the decision that means I won't be at Le Tour this year," he tweeted. "As I have done for my entire career, I targeted a specific time to be at peak form.

"This has pretty much always resulted in me hitting my goals or coming damn close. After a long, difficult fightback from trying to compete for the whole of last season with Epstein-Barr Virus and after following a specific training program to peak in July, I feel I was in the perfect place.

"Though I won't be there, as always I'll be supporting my team-mates with all I have."

Dimension Data did not give a reason for Cavendish's absence.

The 2011 world champion pulled out of last year's European championships road race on medical advice and he was disqualified from the Tour last year after failing to make the time cut on the 11th stage.

Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo, an experienced Giro d'Italia rider, will make his Tour debut as Cavendish's effective replacement.

Edvald Boasson Hagen, Stephen Cummings, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Michael Valgren, Roman Kreuziger, Ben King, and Lars Bak are the team's other riders.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.