Having returned back home from the Tour of Missouri, Mark Cavendish has decided to pull out of the Great Britain team for the World Championships and end his season.

A replacement to complete the six-man team will be announced tonight.

The 23-year-old has 17 wins to his name, including two Giro d’Italia stages and four Tour de France stages, in a road season that started in February at the Tour of California and spanned more than 80 days of racing.

Last week he won three stages at the Tour of Missouri but has decided a trip to Varese, Italy, for the World Championship road race on September 28 would be a step too far.

“I just rang Max [Sciandri] to let him know I don’t want to do the Worlds,” Cavendish said.

“I am tired. I am really beat. I know I won three stages in Missouri but I’ve got nothing left in the tank. I’ve been racing full-on since February and the Worlds isn’t a race you can just turn up to and get round.

“It’s got nothing to do with the course. If I was on form I think I’d have the best chance of anyone in the team to do something, but I am not on form. I’ve had the journey back from Missouri, which has also really taken it out of me. It’s the best thing to let someone else take the place.”

The Great Britain team will be David Millar, Chris Froome, Steve Cummings, Ian Stannard and Russell Downing plus one more.

Coach Sciandri said he would discuss with Shane Sutton the options, but would be referring back to the four riders on the original short list ? Rob Hayles, Dan Fleeman, Dan Lloyd and Geraint Thomas.

Lloyd crashed in the Tour of Britain. Thomas’s name was not actually submitted to the UCI as one of the nine possible entrants, so he appears to be out of the running.

It means the final spot could go to national champion Hayles or Fleeman, who was a useful seventh in the Tour of Britain.

RELATED LINKS

Great Britain names six for men’s road race at the World Championships

Britain’s World Championship shortlists: men, women and under-23