Mark Renshaw to miss early season with Epstein-Barr virus
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mark Renshaw to miss early season with Epstein-Barr virus

by Ben Atkins at 9:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Australian Columbia-HTC rider Mark Renshaw will miss the first part of next season after being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus, according to local newspaper the Geelong Advertiser. The virus’ symptoms can include swollen lymph glands and can cause mononucleosis (glandular fever).

Renshaw will have to take a complete break for a few months in order to recover properly.

"He doesn't feel sick, which is the terrible thing. When he's not training, he's not doing any exertion, it's fine," according to former rider John Trevorrow, who is now the organiser of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.

"As he started to get back to training he started [feeling] tired all the time and couldn't work out how he was so tired when he wasn't training hard. He went to the doctor and they started doing tests and confirmed it."

In the short-term this means that he will miss the Bay Classic, the Australian national championships and the Tour Down Under, but the enforced break will affect the whole of the spring campaign. Columbia-HTC’s first race in Europe will be Paris-Nice in February, and – even if he were to recover by then – it’s doubtful that Renshaw would be fully prepared.

Renshaw was an integral part of Columbia-HTC’s Tour de France team this year, working hard for sprinter Mark Cavendish on the way to his six stage wins. He finished second, behind Cavendish, on the final stage on Paris’ Champs Elysees after leading out the Manxman and the other teams failed to challenge.

It’s not yet clear how much his enforced absence will affect Cavendish’s bid to match his phenomenal spring of 2009.

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