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Illness rules Cavendish out of National Road Championships

ESPN staff
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Mark Cavendish is focused on making a full recovery for the Tour de France © Getty Images
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Mark Cavendish will not be defending his road race title at the National Road Championships on Sunday after pulling out of the event with bronchitis.

Cavendish won the title a year ago after sprinting to victory in Glasgow. However, the 29-year-old has decided not to take part in the event - which takes part in Monmouthshire in Wales - and has opted instead to focus on making a full recovery for the Tour de France, which begins on July 5.

"I'm sad because, as current champion, I would really like to defend the title," Cavendish said. "I would have liked to honour the race and this jersey that I wore for all of 2014 so far, which allowed me to represent my country proudly.

"It's wiser, however, to not take any risks and focus on absolute, 100% recovery, and continue to train in preparation for the Tour de France. I talked with the race organisers and they understood my situation perfectly."

His team Omega Pharma Quick-Step said in a statement: "The current British champion is busy with a bout of bronchitis that began during the last stages of the Tour de Suisse. As a precautionary measure Mark will not participate on Sunday and will continue training in Italy prior to the Tour de France."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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