By Nigel Wynn
Chris Froome (Sky) has drawn his successful 2013 season to a close after suffering from lingering end-of-season back problems.
The 2013 Tour de France champion withdrew from the world championships road race at the end of September citing back pain. He was then due to start the Tour of Lombardy on Sunday, but withdrew his name from the startsheet due to persistent pain.
A start at the Tour of Beijing has also been ruled out, and the British rider confirmed via his personal Twitter account on Monday that he would not race again this year.
"Not the way I wanted to end the season but my body had other ideas! Looking forward to some R&R and a gelati or two... :)" said Froome.
On Saturday, Sky issued the following statement from Froome regarding his withdrawal from the Tour of Lombardy: "Sadly, I won't be able to compete at Il Lombardia on Sunday. I had some back pain at the World Championships last weekend and it hasn't settled down as I'd hoped."
Sky doctor Alan Farrell added: "A scan this week revealed that Chris is suffering from an inflamed sacroiliac joint. We are monitoring him as a team but unfortunately the injury means he will not be able to take part in the race this weekend."
Although Froome was disappointed to have withdrawn from the world championships road race, he can look back on 2013 with satisfaction. Overall wins in the Tour de France, Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine have elevated Froome to his position as one of the most accomplished riders of the year.
Froome had occupied the top spot in the UCI's 2013 WorldTour ranking up until Sunday, when a win by Joaquim Rodriguez (Katsuha) meant that the Spaniard pipped Froome to the title.
Froome will now look ahead to the 2014 season where he will aim to defend his Tour de France title when the race starts in Yorkshire.
Rodriguez knocks Froome off WorldTour top spot
Chris Froome: Rider profile
BikeExchange interested in Tom Dumoulin for 2023 'if he wants to carry on with GC ambitions'
Dumoulin will be free at the end of 2022, when his contract with Jumbo-Visma runs out
By Ryan Dabbs •
Joss Lowden is finally about to turn full-time pro aged 34, but for women cyclists it's rarely that simple
A move to Andorra is on the cards, as well as some family planning before Paris 2024
By Jonny Long •