Ill Cavendish Quits Tour of Catalunya Three Days After Stage Win
Popular sprinter hit by the flu at Spanish race.
British sprinter Mark Cavendish (Team HTC-Columbia) abandoned the 2010 Tour of Catalunya during Friday's fifth stage after coming down with flu three days after his first win of the season.
The most prolific winner of 2009, with 24 victories, quit 80 kilometers into the 181.2 kilometer stage won by Italian Davide Malacarne (Team Quick Step).
"I've been feeling ill for the last couple of days and today was worse," Cavendish told Reuters.
HTC-Columbia team manager Brian Holm added the illness was nothing to worry about.
"It's nothing too serious, he said he was feeling bad the last few days and it's got worse today," he said.
"I told him he should stop if he was feeling so bad, he wasn't happy but it was the right thing to do."
Cavendish's start to racing in 2010 was delayed by two weeks after a severe tooth infection wrecked his early season training programme.
On Tuesday he ended a six-month wait for a win by taking an emphatic bunch sprint victory in Stage 2 of the Tour of Catalunya.
The Tour of Catalunya finishes on Sunday in Montmelo. Team Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez remains the overall leader ahead of Cervelo TestTeam's Tondo.