Ed Clancy has been forced to withdraw from the UCI Track World Cup round in New Zealand over December 4-6, as he faces surgery to correct a lingering back injury.
The 30-year-old from Yorkshire was due to make his return to top-level track competition after an enforced lay-off after a ‘freak accident’ saw him slip a disc in his back while lifting a heavy bag.
According to British Cycling, he will undergo surgery next week.
It’s a further set back for Clancy in his preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where he is hoping to defend his and Great Britain’s title in the team pursuit. He has already missed the opening round of the Track World Cup in Colombia and the European Track Championships.
Clancy has been replaced in Great Britain’s men’s endurance line-up by Senior Academy rider Joe Holt, who joins the youthful line-up of Germain Burton, Mark Stewart, Chris Latham and Oliver Wood.
Watch: Show us your scars – Ed Clancy
“Someone of Ed’s calibre is obviously a big loss to the squad but we believe we have the riders capable of stepping up in his absence, allowing him to focus on his surgery and rehabilitation,” said British Cycling technical director, Shane Sutton.
“Joe Holt is a talented young rider and the experience of travelling to New Zealand and competing at that level will stand him in good stead going forward.”
Welsh sprinter Becky James is making her return in Great Britain colours after an 18-month absence due to knee injury.