Team Sky's Rod Ellingworth "confident" Mark Cavendish will beat illness to make debut in Qatar
World champion sat out training today due to illness that struck him down on way to Gulf
Team Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth insists he is “confident” that Mark Cavendish will be fit enough to make his debut for them tomorrow in the Tour of Qatar, despite the world champion having missed training today after coming down with an illness.
While his team mates were out on the road, on the advice of Team Sky’s medical staff the 26-year-old spent today resting in his hotel room. He had started to feel ill during his flight from London to Doha yesterday evening.
Ellingworth, who masterminded British Cycling's three-year projected that resulted in Cavendish winning the rainbow jersey in Copenhagen in September, said: “Obviously it’s disappointing that Mark has fallen ill the day before his Team Sky debut. He felt fine when he boarded the plane last night but wasn’t 100% when he got off it.
“The team doctor assessed him last night, and again this morning, and everyone felt it was in his best interests not to ride with the others. Since then he’s been recovering in his hotel room and we’re doing everything we can to get him back on his feet again.
“He’s really frustrated that he’s come down with this because he’s in great shape condition-wise and was looking to hit the ground running here in Qatar,” Ellingworth added.
“We’re still confident he will start the race but we’ll continue to monitor his health for the rest of today and make a decision on whether he will start the race at 10am local time on Sunday morning,” he concluded.