MARK Cavendish will miss the Tour of Britain and will take an indefinite break from racing due to the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus in his system.
Cavendish’s team Dimension Data added in a statement that the former world champion had unknowingly been racing and training with the virus over the last few months.
It was something that the 33 year-old Max rider was “glad” to hear as it helped to explain why he had been struggling for form.
Cavendish had an extremely difficult Tour de France last month, finishing well outside the time cut on stage 11 having struggled to compete at the business end of any of the sprint stages.
That was on the back of a series of crashes and injuries that derailed the first half of his year.
The 30 year-old Tour stage winner was also forced to miss a chunk of last season after being diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis – glandular fever – caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, and it has returned with cruel effects.
“This season I’ve not felt physically myself and despite showing good numbers on the bike I have felt that there’s 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.
“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.”