Mark Cavendish is set to miss out on a surprise return to Tour de France duty after Deceuninck-QuickStep’s lead sprinter Sam Bennett has been declared fit to return to action.
Bennett has been struggling with a persistent knee problem as he prepares to take part in the Tour de France later this year, and has been replaced by the veteran Manx rider at the Baloise Belgium Tour.
Cavendish secured a stage win as the 36-year-old rider showcased his return to form despite his advancing years.
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Cavendish has also claimed victory at four Tour of Turkey stages this year, and team head Patrick Lefevere was believed to be considering his inclusion for the biggest event of the year. The cyclist himself earlier refused to rule out taking part, but understood that his role rested on Bennett’s ability to compete.
Cyclingnews.com reports that Bennett has now demonstrated to his team’s medical department that he will be ready for the opening stage on June 26.
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