Tour de France 2014: Alex Dowsett left out by Movistar

Alex Dowsett
Dowsett has one grand Tour appearance, at the 2013 Giro d'Italia

Britain's Alex Dowsett will miss the Tour de France after being left out of the Movistar team because of illness.

The 25-year-old three-time national road race champion has been struggling with an infection.

Dowsett missed out on a a fourth British title last week, losing to Sir Bradley Wiggins in the time trial and failing to complete the road race.

"It's so sad for us to leave Dowsett out of the team - despite his efforts," said Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue.external-link

"He couldn't get to his best form due to breathing problems resulting from an infection he suffered."

Movistar Tour de France squad
Alejandro Valverde, Imanol Erviti, Jesus Herrada, Benat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre, Ruben Plaza, Jose Joaquín Rojas (all ESP), Giovanni Visconti (ITA) and John Gadret (FRA),

Essex's Dowsett won his first Grand Tour stage last year at the Giro d'Italia and had spoken of his confidence of making his Tour de France debut.

The omission is especially disappointing for Dowsett, as the stage three route from Cambridge to London will travel through his home county.

Wiggins, the first British winner of Le Tour in 2012, has already been left out of the Team Sky squad, as has Peter Kennaugh, 25, and Ben Swift, 26, who finished first and second in the British National Road Championships at the weekend.

The news of Dowsett's omission came on the same day that veteran David Millar was also left out of the Team Garmin-Sharp squad because of illness, meaning there are just four British riders in this year's race.

They are champion Chris Froome, 29, and Geraint Thomas, who will ride for Team Sky; while Mark Cavendish will represent Omega Pharma - Quick-Step and Orica GreenEdge's Simon Yates.