In Brief

Mark Cavendish to take cycling break due to Epstein-Barr virus

British cyclist has been advised to rest in order to fully recover

British cyclist Mark Cavendish will take an indefinite break from the sport after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Medical tests have shown the presence of the virus, which can cause glandular fever. CyclingNews.com reports that it’s the second time the 33-year-old has been diagnosed with EBV.

Cavendish rides for Team Dimension Data. In a statement the team said: “Following medical examination we can confirm that Mark Cavendish will miss the upcoming immediate race schedule due to the presence of Epstein-Barr virus. 

“The medical results have indicated too that Cavendish will also have been unknowingly training and racing with EBV over recent months, and as a result of these findings he has been advised to rest in order to fully recover ahead of a return to training.”

Cavendish, who has won 30 Tour de France stages and competed in Olympics and Commonwealth Games, added: “This season I’ve not felt physically myself and despite showing good numbers on the bike I have felt that there’s been something not right.

“Given this and on the back of these medical results, I’m glad to now finally have some clarity as to why I haven’t been able to perform at my optimum level during this time. Having received expert medical advice as a result of the findings I’ve been advised to take a period of total rest in order to fully recover.

“I’m now looking forward to taking the time necessary in order to get back to 100% fitness before then returning to racing again at peak physical condition. I’d like to thank everyone for the incredible support I’ve received and I look forward to seeing you all out on the road again soon.”

What is the Epstein-Barr virus?

Science Daily reports that EBV is a virus of the herpes family and is one of the most common viruses in humans. Science Daily adds: “Most people become infected with EBV, which is often asymptomatic but commonly causes infectious mononucleosis. Epstein-Barr can cause infectious mononucleosis, also known as ‘glandular fever’, ‘Mono’ and ‘Pfeiffer’s disease’. Infectious mononucleosis is caused when a person is first exposed to the virus during or after adolescence.” 

According to Medical News Today the symptoms of EBV include:

  • swollen glands 
  • sore throat 
  • fatigue 
  • fever 
  • skin rash

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