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Mark Cavendish will not have a UAE Tour stage win to add to his recent victory in Colombia after falling ill and abandoning the race (Photo Luca Bettini-Sprint Cycling Agency)

Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan Team) will take no further part in UAE Tour after abandoning the race due to illness. The British rider was a non-starter this morning for stage 6.

The withdrawal is a blow for Cavendish, though today is the final stage for sprinters as the climbers are again expected to be to the fore during the big finale tomorrow.

The Manx rider recently took a confidence-boosting early season win at Tour de Colombia and another victory in UAE, especially considering the quality of the opposition, would have really confirmed his condition so early in the season.

However, he has plenty of time to recover a build towards his first goal of the season, the Giro d’Italia in May. His team confirmed in a short statement he had fallen ill in UAE overnight.

“Mark Cavendish won’t start today due to a sickness,” it said. “The rider felt a small fever this morning and after discussion, SD and medical staff decided to let the rider time to recover better ahead of his next races.”

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