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Cavendish takes early exit from Missouri

Stage winner Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) talks to the fans after going two from two in Missouri.

Stage winner Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) talks to the fans after going two from two in Missouri. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Double stage winner Mark Cavendish dropped out of the Tour of Missouri on Thursday morning after his team doctor advised him to stop racing after a respiratory infection worsened, the Columbia-HTC team announced before the start of the Tour's fourth stage.

After wearing the leader's jersey for two days and winning the first two stages, Cavendish lost the overall race lead to Cervelo's Thor Hushovd following a fifth place finish on the stage.

"He has some sort of lung infection," explained team director Tristan Hoffman. "He started to get sick before he came [to Missouri], but it's gotten worse as the days have gone on."

The team doctor advised Cavendish to stop racing, but cautioned against flying home right away. He instead was taken to Kansas City to rest. He will wait there until the team gets at the conclusion of the Tour on Sunday and then there then fly out with the team.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.