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Cavendish out of British road championships

Mark Cavendish will not defend his road race championship title in the British National Road Championship on Sunday, the Omega Pharma-Quickstep team announced on Wednesday.

Cavendish acquired bronchitis during the Tour de Suisse and will skip the race in Monmouthshire in order to be well for the Tour de France. He will continue training in Italy before traveling back to the United Kingdom for the start of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.

"I'm sad because, as current champion, I would really like to defend the title," Cavendish said. "I would have liked to honor the race and this jersey that I wore for all of 2014 so far, which allowed me to represent my country proudly. I think it's wiser, however, to not take any risks and focus on absolute, 100 percent recovery, and continue to train in function of the Tour de France.

"I talked with the race organizers and they understood my situation perfectly. I wish them well, and also wish good luck to all riders at the race on Sunday trying to fight for this jersey I've been so proud to wear."

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