Mark Cavendish training OK and thinks he is over Epstein-Barr virus

Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish won the men's elite road race at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen

Mark Cavendish hopes his "mismanaged" illness troubles are over following a three-month break from cycling in order to recuperate.

Having felt under par for over a year, the Manx cyclist is back in training after being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus for a second time in late August.

"As it wasn't managed properly I've done myself more and more damage," Cavendish told BBC Sport.

"But I seem to be training all right and it's behind me now, hopefully."

The Olympic medallist was speaking following a reconnaissance ride of the road-race course that will be used in the Road World Championships in Yorkshire next year.

The route follows closely the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France from Leeds to Harrogate for about 190km.

The main difference comes in the form of an additional 90km to the finish line, made up of a seven-lap circuit around the spa town.

Cavendish was tipped to win the opening stage in Yorkshire four years ago, but crashed near the finish, ending his Tour.

He was only the second British man after Tommy Simpson in 1965 to win a road world title when he triumphed in 2011, but says winning a second rainbow jersey next year could be a tougher proposition.

"Probably without the crash I was dead cert to win the first stage of the Tour de France," he said.

"This is going to be a slightly different dynamic of race.

"I won't have as much pressure as 2014 when the Tour de France came here.

"But I don't think it's as straightforward as I'd say it was in Qatar (2016, when Cavendish was second behind Peter Sagan) or even Richmond (2015) or Bergen (2017).

"It's doable but mainly because of the strength we have now as a nation - we have a lot of options to play."

Yorkshire's Lizzie Deignan was the most recent British champion, winning the women's race in 2015, and she is looking to add a second world title next year in her home county.

Deignan has prioritised the race after returning to training following the birth of her daughter, Orla.

Cavendish has only recently returned to training too following a second lay-off with Epstein-Barr virus, which left him unable to perform at his best.

He admitted not knowing the timeframe for a comeback had been frustrating.

"I'm all right I think now but you never know with Epstein Barr," he said. "A broken bone - you know when you'll be back. Even most illnesses you know that.

"But it takes a real expert to understand EPV and when you're through it."

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