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Mark Cavendish back on his bike after Epstein Barr Virus

Cavendish back riding, but team remain cautious over his return to racing

Cyclist magazine
17 May 2017

After being diagnosed with the Eppstein Barr Virus last month, which can cause mononucleosis (more commonly known as glandular fever), Mark Cavendish is back on his bike. 

The Dimension Data rider, whose last race was Milan-San Remo on 18th March, was diagnosed with the virus last month, and was forced to take an extended period of time off the bike to recover.

But Cavendish's performance manager at Dimension Data, Rolf Aldag, has said that from 29th April, the Manxman has made a cautious return to riding. 

'We don't want to pin a date on his return,' Aldag said of Cavendish's future race programme when speaking to Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad.

'If you do, you might rush things and the recovery benefit would be lost. Anyone who has ever had mononucleosis knows that recovery can take a long time.

'The important thing now is his health.'

Aldag also said that Cavendish is in daily contact with the team, and filling out regular questionnaires to indicate how well he is sleeping, how he feels, whether he is tired, as well as undergoing regular blood tests.

'We will not announce now whether he will be at the Dauphine or Tour de Suisse,' Aldag continued.

'If you predetermine something like that then he will train towards it, and before you know it he could relapse - then a whole season would be gone, and that's a risk we can not take.'

As for the Tour de France, Aldag says that the team is not thinking about the possibility of Cavendish not being on the start line.

But: 'If that were the case, we would have to accept that as a team we would have to tackle the Tour in a different way.'