Cycling - Illness forces Cavendish out in Belgium

Illness continues to hamper Mark Cavendish's year after the Manx Missile was forced to pull out of the Driedaagse de Panne in Belgium.

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SAN LUIS, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 25: Mark Cavendish of Great Britain and Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step after finish the Stage Six of the VIII Tour de San Luis, a 184,4 km road stage from Las Chacras Ð Merlo on January 25, 2014 in San Luis, Argentina. (Photo b

The three-day, four-stage event began on April 1 and was set to be Cavendish's comeback race after being sidelined with gastroenteritis.

However the 28-year-old did not take his place on the start line after failing to recover completely, having first fallen ill after finishing fifth in the Milan-San Remo.

He also withdrew from last Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem Classic and he is heading home to rest and recover, with his race programme now needing to be re-evaluated ahead of the summer.

"I'm really disappointed," said a statement from Cavendish released through the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team.

"Sunday I felt better, and I was able to train well, but Sunday night I was sick again and had diarrhoea.

"I decided to come to the race anyway, hoping that the situation would improve, but I started vomiting and having diarrhoea again last night, at about 2am.

"I'm in no shape to start, especially because I can't eat or drink anything.

"After San Remo I wanted to continue to get some good results and ride well both at Gent-Wevelgem and here at the Driedaagse.

"It really is a big disappointment not to be able to race."

� Sportsbeat 2014

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