Britain's Mark Cavendish and France's Julian Alaphilippe have both missed out on a place in the upcoming Tour de France, their Quick-Step team announced Monday.
Double world road cycling champion Alaphilippe only returned to competition on Sunday, two months after suffering multiple fractures in a heavy fall on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race in Belgium.
Alaphilippe, 30, has worn the race leader's yellow jersey in the last three editions.
But the Belgian team have opted for Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen, who has clocked up 10 wins in 2022, and will be supported by Dane Michael Morkov.
Danish riders Kasper Asgreen, winner of the Tour of Flanders in 2021, and Tour newcomer Mikkel Honore, have also been selected for the three-week race which gets underway in Copenhagen on 1 July.
Alaphilippe returned to racing on Sunday in the French championships and helped teammate Florian Senechal to victory.
"I really came to see where I was, to make an effort," said Alaphilippe.
"I can't say that I had a lot of fun but I was better than I thought, so I'm happy."
Despite this come-back performance, the Quick Step sporting director Tom Steels is playing it safe.
He justified Alaphilippe's absence to "give him more time to recover and rebuild his condition, so that he can be 100 percent for the second part of the season".
Meanwhile, fellow rider Mark Cavendish, 37, who last year equalled Eddy Merckx's Tour de France record of 34 stage wins, stormed to a second British road race title on Sunday.
Despite his form and his reputation as one of the greatest sprinters of all time, he was designated as a replacement for the Tour de France, alongside Senechal.
"We have riders who can support Fabio, riders who can climb, but who can also do something in the breakaways. Kasper, Yves (Lampaert) and Michael (Morkov) will form a strong leading group for Fabio," Steels explained.
"Tim (Declercq) will be the rider who will help him not only on the flat, but also in the mountains, where he will make sure that Fabio respects the time limit.
"Mattia (Cattaneo) has more experience now and can make a few breakaways. Mikkel has improved a lot since joining the team and deserves his place while Andrea (Bagioli) has shown he has the mentality to compete with the best," added Steels.