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Cavendish sick on eve of Tour of Qatar

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World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)

World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)
(Image credit: IG Markets / Team Sky)
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World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) prepares for training

World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) prepares for training
(Image credit: Robin Moore)
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In most people's eyes, Mark Cavendish is the current number one sprinter

In most people's eyes, Mark Cavendish is the current number one sprinter
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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.