Mark Cavendish is still in the frame to ride the UCI World Championships for Great Britain despite having to withdraw from the Tour of Missouri on Thursday with a respiratory infection.

British team coach Rod Ellingworth spoke to Cavendish, and confirmed that the 24 year old sprint specialist is still very much in the mix for the GB Worlds team. The men’s road race takes place in Mendrisio, Switzerland, on September 27.

“[Cavendish's illness] probably means that he won’t target Paris-Tours now, but as long as he’s healthy he’ll be a contender for a place on the Worlds team,” Ellingworth confirmed.

“The course in Mendrisio doesn’t suit Cavendish, but he can always play a part in the team. He’s keen to buy into the GB team for the future because he knows that it’s important for when he could have a shot at it in 2010 or 2011.”

“It’s always difficult for riders at the end of the season, but Cav is learning about extending his season and learning how to get through illnesses. He’s learning and developing from everything he does,” said Ellingworth.

It is likely that Britain’s Worlds team will be built around David Millar, currently riding in the Vuelta a Espana. Cavendish would provide a supporting role to the team. Bradley Wiggins will not contest the road race, instead focusing on the individual time trial.

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Cavendish withdraws from Missouri with illness