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Mark Cavendish still unsure when he will be able to return from illness

Mark Cavendish, British national road race 2016
Image: Mark Cavendish is still unsure whether he will be able to race at the Tour de France

Mark Cavendish admits he has no idea when he will be able to return to WorldTour action as he continues to battle for fitness.

The British sprint star has been sidelined since Milan-San Remo in March and it was revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus, also known as glandular fever.

Recovery times can vary and Cavendish said on Wednesday, when he turned up at the start of the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia in Florence, that his return date was still up in the air despite being able to get back on his bike to train.

"I don't feel ill, I just feel a bit unfit. It's been a long time off the bike. Some days I feel on top of the world, some days I don't, but at least I'm riding my bike and that's the main thing," Cavendish said.

"I can't put a definitive time on when I'm back. It could be 10 days, it could be one year, I really don't know. But I'll just keep riding and see.

"I've been watching the Giro and Tour of California on TV, that's all I can do, watch TV. I can't do anything else except ride. It's kind of difficult but to come and see my friends and team-mates and the guys at the start today, it's been real nice."

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Cavendish has just over six weeks to recover fully in time for the Tour de France, where he would be looking to secure a 31st stage victory.

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