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.

Giro d'Italia - Cavendish to skip Giro d’Italia, focus on Tour

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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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