International Sport > Cycling > CAVENDISH TO TAKE BREAK FROM CYCLING

CAVENDISH TO TAKE BREAK FROM CYCLING

Mark Cavendish will take a period of total rest after being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus for a second time, his Dimension Data team have confirmed.

Cavendish, whose tally of 30 Tour de France stage wins is second only to the great Eddy Merckx, withdrew from the European Championships on medical advice earlier this month, referencing a "challenging few months in terms of aiming to sufficiently recover from some unfortunate injuries."

A Team Dimension Data statement on Wednesday provided an update on the 33-year-old, who was previously diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus in April 2017 but returned two months later.

The statement read: "Following medical examination we can confirm that Mark Cavendish will miss the upcoming immediate race schedule due to the presence of Epstein-Barr virus.

"The medical results have indicated that Cavendish will also have been unknowingly training and racing with EBV over recent months, and as a result of these findings he has been advised to rest in order to fully recover ahead of a return to training."

Cavendish added: "This season I've not felt physically myself and despite showing good numbers on the bike I have felt that there's been something not right.

"Given this and on the back of these medical results, I'm glad to now finally have some clarity as to why I haven't been able to perform at my optimum level during this time.

"Having received expert medical advice as a result of the findings I've been advised to take a period of total rest in order to fully recover.

"I'm now looking forward to taking the time necessary in order to get back to 100 per cent fitness before then returning to racing again at peak physical condition.

"I'd like to thank everyone for the incredible support I've received and I look forward to seeing you all out on the road again soon."

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