Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish taking indefinite break from cycling after virus diagnosis
His team Dimension Data say he will miss ‘upcoming immediate race schedule’.
Mark Cavendish has been forced to take an indefinite break from cycling ‘due to the presence of Epstein-Barr virus’, commonly known as glandular fever.
A statement released by his team, Dimension Data, confirmed that the 33-year-old Brit has been ‘unknowingly training with EBV over recent months… and has been advised to rest to fully recover’.
Cavendish said, “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.”
The BBC reported that he was first diagnosed with EBV in April 2017.
There’s no expected return date for Cavendish as of yet.
Since diagnosis with the virus last year, the world road race champion of 2011 has struggled to record performances of note.
He was eliminated from this year’s Tour de France because his time on stage 11 was outside the limit.
In 2017, he broke his collar bone and also missed the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Cavendish is second in the all-time list of Tour de France stage wins with 30 victories, four behind the record held by Belgium's Eddy Merckx.
The Manxman also won a silver Olympic gold medal on the track.
He returned eight years after saying he was done with the track with a second-placed finish in the omnium at Rio 2016.
WHAT IS EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS?
WebMD says that even if you haven’t heard of the disease you have probably been infected without knowing.
It’s nickname is the ‘kissing disease’ because of the way it is spread.
Saliva is where it’s found so you can catch it from kissing someone who’s infected.
Symptoms include fatigue, fever and lack of appetite.
You can feel better after just two-four weeks but tiredness can last months.