Mark Cavendish Photo: Fabio Ferrari/AP

London – Mark Cavendish announced he had pulled out of Belgium's Three Days of La Panne race due to an upset stomach.

The Isle of Man sprinter fell ill with gastroenteritis following his fifth-placed finish at Milan-San Remo and withdrew from last Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem.

“I'm really disappointed,” Cavendish, whose race programme will be re-evaluated, said in a statement released by his Omega-Pharma QuickStep.

“I'm in no shape to start, especially because I can't eat or drink anything.

“After San Remo I wanted to continue to get some good results and ride well both at Gent-Wevelgem and here.”

The La Panne race starts Tuesday with the opening 201km stage between La Panne and Zottegem. – Sapa-AFP