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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/

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.

Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.