Cavendish withdraws from Driedaagse De Panne with stomach illness

Cavendish fell ill after Milano-Sanremo and has not yet fully recovered

LONDON (AFP) — Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on Tuesday announced he had pulled out of Belgium’s Driedaagse De Panne (Three Days of De Panne) race due to an upset stomach.

The Isle of Man sprinter fell ill with gastroenteritis following his fifth-place finish at Milano-Sanremo and withdrew from last Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem.

“I’m really disappointed,” Cavendish, whose race program will be re-evaluated, said in a team statement.

“I’m in no shape to start, especially because I can’t eat or drink anything. After Sanremo I wanted to continue to get some good results and ride well both at Gent-Wevelgem and here.”

The La Panne race starts Tuesday with the opening 201-kilometer stage between La Panne and Zottegem.