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.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
New Hunt Limitless road wheels get carbon spokes - but they're not going hookless or super wide
Hunt Limitless 48 and 60 get lighter and stiffer thanks to new carbon spokes - but the rims are hooked and the internal rim widths are narrow compared to the likes of Zipp
By Simon Smythe • Published
Tweets of the week: Jonas Vingegaard smiles and Remco Evenepoel has a business dinner
The content keeps coming faster than we can collate a vaguely amusing collection
By Adam Becket • Published
Lizzie Deignan: Tour de France Femmes will be 'dynamic' compared to men's Tour
Trek-Segafredo rider says that eventually she would like to see a three-week Tour for women
By Adam Becket • Published
Here is the Great Britain women’s team for World Championships 2020 in Imola
The swiftly re-arranged World Championships are just a few weeks away and the Great Britain women’s team has been confirmed.
By Alex Ballinger • Published
Why a women’s Tour de France next year is a no-go
With a women's Tour de France all