Paris, Aug 21: Mark Cavendish will miss a second successive Tour de France, but this time there were no complaints about being excluded from his team's plans.
The British rider last year said he was "heartbroken" at being left out by Team Dimension Data, convinced he had recovered from illness and was in prime shape to compete.
Having switched allegiance since to Bahrain-McLaren, Cavendish must again watch from a distance as the world's most prestigious Grand Tour takes place without him.
The Bahrain-McLaren team are structuring their plans around a yellow jersey push for Mikel Landa, and there was no room for Cavendish in the eight-rider line-up that was unveiled on Friday.
Cavendish ranks second only to the great Belgian Eddy Merckx (34) among riders with the most stage wins in the race, having triumphed 30 times, and it remains to be seen whether the 35-year-old gets a future shot at the Tour.
He is optimistic about his prospects for 2021, saying it promises to be "a big year".
In a video message responding to his omission, Cavendish said that "some people are going to be happy about that, some people are going to be disappointed".
Cavendish, a former points classification winner in the Tour, added: "Simply put, I just don't feel I'm ready this year for the Tour de France.
"It's the hardest parcours I've seen in my entire career and I'm a rider who needs a lot of racing to get going and I just haven't had that this year, with COVID-19.
"We do have an incredible GC [general classification] contender with Mikel Landa and an incredibly strong team to support.
"I'm looking forward. I'm super excited for the rest of the year. We've got some good goals, good races lined up, and I'm looking forward to using it to build into a big year next year."
The delayed Tour gets under way in Nice on August 29, having been postponed from its intended June 27 start date because of the pandemic.