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by Shane Stokes
June 1, 2017
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Sidelined from racing due to the Epstein Barr Virus, Team Dimension Data has said that Mark Cavendish will return in time for the British road race championships on his home course of the Isle of Man. However they have told Cyclingnews that they are still not in a position to say if he will do the Tour de France.
Previously team manager Douglas Ryder had said that only returning for the Critérium du Dauphiné or Tour de Suisse would be the worst case scenario. He will even miss these targets, and riding only one race before the Tour must raise a question mark over his participation.
Even if he does race, it seems certain he will be far off the form which gleaned him four stage wins in 2016.
Cavendish suffered from an ankle injury earlier this year and was then diagnosed with the virus in April. His team sounded optimistic at the time. “It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of when we can expect him back at full fitness but we are hopeful of a significant improvement of his symptoms over the next 2 weeks,” said team doctor Jarrad Van Zuydam then.
“The main goal for Cavendish remains the Tour de France this year. Our team is in full support of the Manxman and his ability to bounce back from this unfortunate set back.” Cavendish has won 30 Tour stages and told CyclingTips in January that he now believed Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 stages was within reach.