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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia: Mark Cavendish loses key leadout man as Michael Mørkøv abandons with fever

The Danish rider developed a fever overnight and leaves the race on doctors' orders.

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Mark Cavendish lost one of his key leadout men at the Giro d’Italia with Michael Mørkøv being forced to abandon due to illness.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl confirmed Friday morning that Mørkøv would not start stage 7 from Diamante to Potenza after developing a fever overnight.

Mørkøv is the fifth rider to leave the Giro d’Italia so far after Jan Tratnik, Miguel Ángel López, Jakub Mareczko, and Filippo Fiorelli.

“At the advice of the team’s medical staff Michael Mørkøv won’t start today’s Giro stage after developing fever overnight,” Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl wrote on Twitter. “Everybody at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl wishes Michael a speedy recovery.”

Mørkøv is considered one of the best leadout riders in the peloton and he helped to guide Mark Cavendish to a victory on stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.

His departure from the race will be a big blow to the team in the competition for sprint wins.

This is only the second time in his career that Mørkøv has been forced to abandon a grand tour in 13 starts, with his last coming at the 2016 Tour de France.