Mark Cavendish takes indefinite break from cycling

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LONDON (AP) — Mark Cavendish will take an indefinite break from cycling after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus for the second time.

The British sprinter has won 30 Tour de France stages, putting him second in the all-time list behind Eddy Merckx (34), but last won a stage in 2016 and did not finish this year’s race. He is a three-time Olympian with silver from the Rio Olympic omnium on the track.

“I’m glad to now finally have some clarity as to why I haven’t been able to perform at my optimum level,” Cavendish said in a Team Dimension Data statement. “I’ve been advised to take a period of total rest in order to fully recover.”

Cavendish was first diagnosed last year with Epstein-Barr, which can cause fatigue and inflammation in various parts of the body.

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