Mark Cavendish celebrates after stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour. Photo: EPA/Matteo Bazzi

LONDON - Mark Cavendish is a doubt for next month’s Tour de France after illness ruined his preparation for the three-week race.

On the day Chris Froome told Sportsmail why he decided to extend his Team Sky contract despite recent controversies, his fellow Briton admitted he may not make it to the start in Dusseldorf on July 1.

Cavendish’s early-season racing was badly hit when he contracted the Epstein-Barr virus. He recovered only six weeks ago, leaving him short of full fitness.

Cavendish, 32, who was hoping to add to his 30 stage wins after an impressive 2016 Tour, will not make a final decision until after this weekend’s national championships.

Sources close to the Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider believe that he would have withdrawn already had it been any other race.

Cavendish raced for a month earlier in the season unaware he was ill. He has since raced only once in the past three months.

Froome will be attempting to win the Tour for the third year in succession and fourth time in all. He hopes to take his place at the start after signing a two-year extension to his Team Sky deal.

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