Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) was forced to abandon the Tour of Slovenia on stage 2, citing illness. The four-day event was the Manxman’s final stage race ahead of the Tour de France, though he is also slated to take part in next weekend’s British National Championships road race in Stockton-on-Tees.
“Had to pull out of the #TourOfSlovenia with illness. Pretty disappointed! Good luck to @TeamDiData,” Cavendish wrote on Twitter on Friday evening.
Cavendish had finished more than six minutes down on Thursday’s opening leg and withdrew from the race on the mountainous stage 2 along with his Dimension Data teammate Nathan Haas.
“From the start, Nathan did not feel healthy,” Dimension Data directeur sportif Alex Sans Vega said. “Unfortunately Haas and Mark Cavendish both had to stop the race today as they were both not feeling well.”
Cavendish has mixed road and track racing this season as he hopes to line out in both the Tour de France in July and the omnium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August. After claiming victory on the final stage of the Tour of California in late May, Cavendish won the omnium at the Panevežys event in Lithuania on the opening weekend of June.
The Great Britain team for the Rio 2016 Olympics is yet to be selected. Cavendish placed 6th in the omnium at the World Track Championships in London in March, where he also teamed up with Bradly Wiggins to win gold in the Madison, a discipline that no longer features on the Olympic programme.
Cavendish has landed four victories on the road in his debut season with Dimension Data, winning a stage and the general classification at the Tour of Qatar in February, and stages at the Tour of Croatia and Tour of California.