Mark Cavendish says he is on the road to recovery after battling with depression and illness.
Speaking to the Telegraph newspaper, Cavendish explained that losing most of two seasons to a bout of Epstein-Barr virus has left him thankful to be able to ride again.
The sprinter also broke his shoulder to such a degree that he is a degree of constant pain, and is facing up to the experience of lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not just been my physical health which has been dealt a blow over the last couple of years,” he said. “I’ve battled quite hard with depression during this time. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in August 2018.”
“I didn’t take any medication. Like, this isn’t the time or place — we’ll do a thing on it at some point — but I received help.
The 34-year-old also revealed he is relishing time with his family while in coronavirus lockdown as he would normally be at races plus he refuses to get frustrated after tussling head-on with depression.
“The unknown of when you’re going to be back racing, I had that for two years.
“It could have been easy for me to go through my whole career and only see the kids once they’re teenagers. So to be able to absorb this . . . to be able to do what mums and dads do, it keeps me happy, it keeps me super motivated, and it keeps me sane I guess.”
But he is not a huge fan of racing on virtual cycling platforms which he says cramp his style.
“I’m f***ed if I go on e-Racing because I race on tactics,” he said.
Cavendish currently rides for Bahrain McLaren team which is headed by his old coach Rod Ellingworth.
“I’m loving it, absolutely loving it,” Cavendish said. “OK, we’re not going anywhere to race right now but there’s a plan to the season, not just for me but for everybody.”