Johannesburg: Sprint cyclist Mark Cavendish has announced he will be taking an indefinite break from racing after the British former world road race champion was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Team Dimension Data said on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old, who also has three track world titles, has struggled with injury and illness this season and withdrew from the inaugural European Championships on medical advice earlier this month.
Team Dimension Data said Cavendish had been unknowingly training and racing despite the presence of EBV in recent months and thus had been asked to rest.
“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,” Cavendish said on Team Dimension Data’s website.
“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.”
Cavendish, who also has 30 Tour de France stage wins to go with his 2011 world title, was previously diagnosed with EBV in April 2017 but returned to action in the Tour of Slovenia that June.