Mark Cavendish will postpone his season debut until the Ruta del Sol in mid-February due to a dental problem that’s delayed his training.

Mark Cavendish will postpone his season debut until the Ruta del Sol in mid-February due to a dental problem that’s delayed his training.

The HTC-Columbia ace was expecting to make his 2010 season debut at the Tour of Qatar in early February, but team officials said he will open his campaign at the five-day Spanish race instead.

“We want to take all precautions and ensure that Mark has fully recovered and is able to get in some extra base training for the long season ahead of him,” said team manager Rolf Aldag in a press release. “His season goals remain the same and he is looking forward to performing as planned in major spring races like Milan-San Remo and Flanders before his focus shifts toward the stage racing.”

Cavendish was expecting to race both Qatar and the new Tour of Oman, but will bump his season debut back to Ruta del Sol, which begins February 17 in Spain’s Andalucia region.

Cavendish, 24, had problems with an abscess tooth throughout the winter and had emergency treatment during the team’s training camp in Mallorca to drain fluid. He missed a few days training as a result.