No Cav for Sky’s Tour Down Under squad

Mark Cavendish's Team Sky debut won't be at the Tour Down Under.

2011 Giro del Piemonte

Mark Cavendish’s Team Sky debut won’t be at the Tour Down Under.

The reigning world champion’s name was not on a preliminary start list for the WorldTour opening event set for January.

With the Tour de France and the London Olympic Games designated as the Manxster’s top goals for the upcoming season, Cavendish’s season debut will likely come a little later in the calendar. Also missing from the squad was double stage-winner Ben Swift.

Instead, Team Sky will bring a strong squad headlined by Edvald Boasson Hagen, 2002 winner Michael Rogers and Geraint Thomas.

Also set to start in his Team Sky debut will be Danny Pate, who moved to the British-backed squad after HTC-Highroad closed down its doors.

The six-stage Tour Down Under opens the WorldTour calendar on January 17-22.