Mark Cavendish abandons Paris-Nice after 'challenging two days'
12 March 2019 12:40
Mark Cavendish abandoned Paris-Nice during stage 2 on Monday, with his Dimension Data team explaining that he is still working his way back towards full fitness following his struggles with Epstein Barr Virus. Crosswinds battered the peloton on the opening two stages of the French WorldTour race, with a long list of crashes and riders who lost time due to the echelons and splits in the field. Cavendish's race did not come to an end because of a crash, but his team described it as "a challenging two days" for the 33-year-old. He finished fifth last on stage 1, almost nine minutes behind stage winner and sprint rival Dylan Groenwegen (Jumbo-Visma), and left the race on stage 2 as the wind inflicted even more damage.ADVERTISEMENT "Mark Cavendish was forced to stop on the back of a challenging two days," said Dimension Data directeur sportif Rolf Aldag. "The race was just his third back, following already tough outings at the Vuelta a San Juan and the UAE Tour, as he continues to work his way back towards full fitness following a long lay-off from racing due to illness last year." Cavendish has endured a tough couple of seasons after being diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus. He missed several races in the spring of 2017 and thought he had recovered but it flared up again last year, and he did not race between August and the end of the season.
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