Mark Cavendish will not get the opportunity to break Eddy Merckx's Tour de France stage wins record in 2022, according to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammate Fabio Jakobsen.
In an interview with cycling news website Wielerflits, Jakobsen revealed the team wants him as their fast man for the Tour, leaving Cavendish to race the Giro d'Italia instead.
Cavendish won the green jersey and four stages of this year's Tour, equalling Merckx's record of 34 stage wins at the race, although next year's edition, starting in Copenhagen on 1 July, looks less suited to the sprinters.
According to his Dutch teammate, the Manx Missile will not be getting a shot at win number 35.
"He [Cav] knows that the Tour is my goal and that he will ride the Giro himself," Jakobsen told Wielerflits. "But he is ready as a reserve. He can do that like no other. And I think he's happy with that role."
Asked if he felt guilty, Jakobsen added: "Yes. Though guilty isn't the right word. Because I think I deserve it too. And if I'm not good enough, I don't go. But you have to make a schedule.
"I started at the bottom of the ladder in the team and gradually worked my way up. I have already experienced the pressure of a Grand Tour twice and the Vuelta has now been the stepping stone. Now I can try it at the highest level."
Cavendish has famously been bored by questions about breaking Merckx's stage wins record, leaving the conversation to fans and reporters.
At this year's race he was pipped by Wout van Aert on the final stage in Paris for what would have been win number 35 and the outright record.
The 36-year-old has suffered a turbulent off-season, sustaining significant injuries in a crash at the Ghent Six Day, and was the victim of an assault and burglary at his home in November. One man has since been charged over the robbery, another two released on bail.
Speaking to the BBC, Cavendish was characteristically confident he could "bounce back" and said he hopes to "spend more time at home and see my kids grow up".
"You have to bounce back," he told BBC Sport. "People have had worse setbacks - it's how you deal with them. I want to spend more time at home and see my kids grow up. I don't want to be tired after training rides and I want to be around at weekends.
"I have plans, but they can't come to fruition yet as I want to focus on riding. I am fortunate to still ride a bike for a living."
If Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's plan of taking Jakobsen to the Tour unfolds it will be the 25-year-old's debut at the race, and a significant milestone in his comeback from a life-threatening crash at the Tour of Poland in 2020.
Jakobsen returned to the elite level of the sport last year, coincidently riding alongside Cavendish at the Tour of Turkey in his first race back.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.