Cavendish out of Tour, still stuck on 30 stage wins

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              FILE - In this July 4, 2017 file photo, Britain's Mark Cavendish crosses the finish line after he crashed during the sprint of the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 207.5 kilometers (129 miles) with start in Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg, and finish in Vittel, France. Mark Cavendish, the 34-year-old British sprinter with 30 stage victories at the Tour, second only behind Merckx, wasn't included on the roster of eight riders for this year's edition announced Tuesday by his team, Dimension Data. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
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PARIS (AP) — Mark Cavendish won’t get a chance this month to overhaul Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage victories at the Tour de France.

The 34-year-old British sprinter with 30 stage victories, second only to Merckx, wasn’t included on Tuesday on the eight-rider squad for the race by his team, Dimension Data.

Cavendish hasn’t missed a Tour since his first in 2007. But he also hasn’t won a stage since he took four in 2016 to overhaul Bernard Hinault on the list of stage winners. Hinault won 28.

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

Without Cavendish, the headliners for Dimension Data at the Tour that starts on Saturday will be Roman Kreuziger, who has four top-10 finishes at the Tour, and Edvald Boasson Hagen, who has three stage wins.