Ankle injury rules Cavendish out of Paris-Roubaix

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Mark Cavendish has been ruled out of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix with an ankle injury.

He had been expected to make his third appearance in the race - which has earned the nickname 'The Hell of the North' due to its demanding 257-kilometre route and numerous bone-shuddering cobbled sections - as he continues his preparations for the Tour de France in July.

Cavendish will not be part of Dimension Data's squad, however, after failing to shake off an ankle problem he first felt on the penultimate stage of Tirreno-Adriatico last month.

The 31-year-old was able to complete Milan-San Remo five days later, but Dimension Data want to ensure the Manxman is ready for the start of the Tour on July 1 in Dusseldorf.

His team described the decision to remove Cavendish from their team as a "precaution", with team doctor Jarrad Van Zuydam explaining there would be further investigation into his injury.

"Mark sustained an overuse injury of his right ankle while competing at the Tirreno-Adriatico race," said Van Zuydam. 

"The injury was thought to be resolving but has unfortunately flared up again during training. 

"Further investigation and treatment is necessary over the coming days to resolve the injury before Mark returns to racing. 

"We are hopeful of a speedy recovery, though it would be premature to set a date for his return to racing at this stage."