Cavendish sick on eve of Tour of Qatar

Mark Cavendish's preparations for his Team Sky debut suffered a setback on Saturday after he missed his final training ride ahead of Sunday's Tour of Qatar with illness. The British sprinter complained of feeling unwell after flying into the Qatari capital of Doha.

As a precautionary measure the 26-year-old did not join his teammates as they left the team hotel for their morning ride. A spokesman from Team Sky stated that no final decision has been made on his participation in tomorrow's race but that he was likely to start. He will spend the remainder of the day resting.

"13hrs of sweat-drenched sleep hasn't shifted a fever that started on the plane over here. Really not feeling well today. Can't leave my bed," Cavendish said via Twitter on Saturday.

The six-stage race starts on Sunday at the iconic Barzan Towers and will run until Friday. The race organisers will be hopeful that Cavendish, one of world cycling's biggest draws, will recover to take his place at the start line, especially after German star Andre Greipel pulled out of the race earlier in the week.

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Mark joined the Cyclingnews team in October 2011 and has a strong background in journalism across numerous sports. His interest in cycling dates back to Greg LeMond's victories in the 1989 and 1990 Tours, and he has a self-confessed obsession with the career and life of Fausto Coppi.