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Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France streak ends

France Cycling Tour de France Cavendish Out

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)


Mark Cavendish, who owns the second-most stage wins in Tour de France history, will miss the three-week Grand Tour for the first time since 2006.

Cavendish, a 34-year-old sprinter, owns 30 Tour de France stage victories, second only to Belgian legend Eddy Merckx‘s 34. But Cavendish last won a stage in 2016 and has struggled since being diagnosed with the energy-sapping Epstein-Barr virus in 2017.

Cavendish was not named in Dimension Data’s eight-man team for the Tour that starts Saturday.

He failed to finish the last three Tours de France.

Cavendish’s heyday was 2009-11, when he won 16 Tour de France stages. Peter Sagan has since emerged as the world’s top sprinter and this month will try to break Erik Zabel‘s record seven green jersey titles.

Watch world-class cycling events throughout the year with the NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass, including all 21 stages of the Tour de France live & commercial-free, plus access to renowned races like La Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, the UCI World Championships and many more.

MORE: NBC Sports launches Cycling Pass for 2019-20 season

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