Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl have announced that Tim Declercq will miss this year’s Tour de France after testing positive for Covid.
Florian Senechal will be his replacement, meaning that Mark Cavandish remains sidelined reserve ahead of the race.
The Manxman was left out of the initial eight-man team, with Fabio Jackobsen selected as the team’s preferred sprinter, and is still set to miss out with Senechal called up as first reserve.
Tour de France
'Words don’t do it justice' - Cavendish on 'emotional rollercoaster' of Champs-Elysees
23/07/2022 AT 20:04
The revised team line-up for the Tour, which begins on July 1 in Copenhagen, is now made up of Kasper Asgreen, Andrea Bagioli, Mattia Cattaneo, Mikkel Honore, Jakobsen, Yves Lampaert, Michael Morkov and Senechal.
On Delercq’s absence, Quick-Step tweeted: “We are sorry to announce that Tim Declercq has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not take part in this year's Tour de France.
“He will be replaced for the race by French champion Florian Senechal. We wish Tim a speedy recovery!”
Cavendish’s disappointment comes just days after winning the British national road race championship in Dumfries and Galloway.
Last year, the 37-year-old equalled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage wins.
Senechal himself is also in good form having claimed the French road race title for the first time in his career in Cholet last weekend.
Quick-Step are also set to be without world champion Julian Alaphilippe, who is only just returning to action after his recovery from a big crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
- - -
Stream the Tour de France live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
Tour de France
Cavendish: I’ll win at Tour de France again, I’m not retiring yet
18/07/2022 AT 19:19
Tour de France
Wiggins: 'No shortage' of teams for Cavendish to pursue record after Quick-Step exit
13/07/2022 AT 13:35