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Cavendish and Cummings selection means no room for Teklehaimanot in Dimension Data Tour squad

Sprint-focused lineup banks on Cavendish regaining full fitness in time for Grand Depart

Joseph Delves
27 Jun 2017

British duo Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings may have made Dimenson Data's Tour de France squad, but their inclusion means climbers Daniel Teklehaimanot and Igor Antón have missed out.

Both Cavendish and Cummings had been far from certain of their places in the final line-up. But with the former having overcome a bout of glandular fever and the latter having won both the British road race and time-trial championships recently, Dimension Data has backed the pair's potential to deliver stage wins over strength in the mountains.

Eritrean Teklehaimanot featured heavily in breakaways particularly during the opening phase of last month's Giro d'Italia, and while he finished a lowly 111th overall, his efforts saw him place fourth in the points competition won by Fernando Gaviria. Spain's Anton also rode the Giro, finishing 62nd overall.

Cavendish and Cummings are joined in the South African Dimension Data squad by a third Brit, Scott Thwaites, who'll be starting his second Grand Tour after competing in last year's Vuelta a España.

Perfect timing

Cummings' place in the final lineup had been far from certain after he was ruled out of the Giro with injury, but his double win at the National Championships in the past week came at the perfect time to push his credentials.

Cavendish, meanwhile, has only just returned to racing after three months on the sidelines, but having delivered four stage wins in last year's Tour he remains Dimension Data's most likely source of stage wins even if he's not yet at 100%.

“If I’m being totally honest, had this not been the Tour de France we may have collectively taken a different approach with regards to my inclusion but I feel that I owe it to myself, the team, our sponsors and most importantly to the Tour itself given its history and everything that it stands for – as well as the emotional attachment I have for it – to give it my best and to put everything I have in to trying to help the team,” explained Cavendish in a statement released by the team.