Mark Cavendish has 'beaten' the Epstein-Barr virus, as he clears threshold for first time in two years

A blood test has shown the Manxman has, at least for the time being, beaten the illness that has plagued him since 2017

Mark Cavendish at the Tour of Turkey 2019 (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish is below the threshold for being sick with Epstein-Barr, the virus the sprinter has been suffering from for the past two years.

The Manxman revealed a blood test two weeks ago showed the result that he had beaten the illness, for the time being at least.

Cavendish was speaking at the Tour of California press conference, which starts on Sunday May 12, and said he will now "be able to go and challenge for some race wins."

The 30-time Tour de France stage winner said: "Normally I would have had a lot of racing by now, but the last couple of years I haven’t done much early in the year because I’ve been sick, but now I’m finally healthy again and I feel human after a couple of years.

"My last blood test a couple of weeks ago was the first time for two years that I’ve been under the threshold for being sick, and so it’s a massive relief and hopefully I can get back to doing good things. I’m actually able to build on my form now."

>>> Tour of California 2019 start list

The 33-year-old was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus in April 2017 after suffering from unexplained fatigue, returning to racing in 2018 but crashing at both Milan - San Remo and the Abu Dhabi Tour.

After an uneventful start to his 2019 season, Cavendish took his first podium in almost a year on stage three of the Tour of Turkey.

Cavendish raced the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire but the best result he could muster was eighth place on stage one. He will ride the Tour of California as he builds his form towards the 2019 Tour de France, where he will once again hope to overhaul Eddy Merckx's record 34 stage wins, which he trails by four.

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