"The eighth place in the team is still open" - Ide Schelling hoping to secure spot alongside Mark Cavendish at Tour de France with impressive Dauphine

Mark Cavendish will embark on the final Tour de France of his career later this month, making one final attempt at taking a history-making 35th Tour de France stage win and going clear of the great Eddy Merckx in the process.

A spot alongside the Manx Missile in his final Tour de France is a much sought after prize for the riders of the Astana Qazaqstan Team. One of those hopeful of being allowed a chance to show his worth is the Dutchman, Ide Schelling. Currently in action at the Criterium du Dauphine, Schelling is keen to leave his employers no option to leave him out by excelling this week.

"The eighth place in the team is still open, so it will be a classic Dauphine, where I have to show myself," says the former BORA - hansgrohe man in conversation with AD from the Criterium du Dauphine in France. Schelling also has had previous success in his only prior appearance at the Tour de France, wearing the polka-dot jersey for a time back in 2021.

Of late though, the German has struggled to find his best form and since moving from BORA - hansgrohe to the Astana Qazaqstan Team, Schelling has been constantly battling to get back to his best, with his most recent struggles being the result of an illness which forced an abandon at the Itzulia Basque Country. "There was very clearly something going on," Schelling says, revealing how it turned out to be a viral infection, which is very similar to glandular fever. "I don't dare say with certainty whether that was it. I do know that it bothered me a lot."

As mentioned, the chance work alongside one of cycling's greatest ever sprinters in his final Grand Tour is a big lure for not only Schelling but the entirety of the Astana Qazaqstan Team. Who will secure the spots around Cavendish? Only time will tell.

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