The leader of the UCI Women’s World Cup, Wiggle-Honda’s Jolien d’Hoore, has announced she will not be competing at the final event of the series this weekend in order to fully prepare for September’s World Championships.
D’Hoore took the lead last weekend with a win at the Crescent Vårgårda road race in Sweden as a late crash by Lizzie Armitstead saw her slip down the leaderboard.
But the 25-year-old Belgian said she always planned to have a month of solid training before the World Championships in Richmond on September 26.
“I have taken a decision now,” she is reported as saying in Het Nieuwsblad. “I will not start on Saturday. The goal was to have a solid block of training this week with a view to the World Championships next month.
“If I need to travel to Plouay, I quickly lose three days and also I find a course there that is for me. So I prefer to train a few days and next Tuesday I will start in the Boels Rental Ladies Tour, a major stage race, where I want to perform.”
D’Hoore has been on fine form this season, winning 10 races and coming second overall at the Aviva Women’s Tour in June.
Her non-participation at Sunday’s GP Plouay effectively leaves Armitstead battling it out with Anna Van Der Breggen – winner of La Course – for the overall victory. D’Hoore’s teammate Elisa Longo Borghini sits 65 points behind Van Der Breggen and has an outside chance of scooping victory, with 120 points on offer for a win on Sunday.
Of course, if none of these riders performs well at the series-ending race then D’Hoore will be crowned champion. It’s literally all up for grabs.