Mark Cavendish has withdrawn from Great Britain's squad for the 2015 UCI World Championship road race next Sunday (September 27), after suffering from lingering injury after crashing during the Tour of Britain.
Cavendish had said early this week that there were doubts over his participation in the 2015 Worlds, which start this weekend in Richmond, Virginia, USA, after he suffered a shoulder injury as a result of crashing into a car during stage six of the Tour of Britain.
"Absolutely devastated to have to pull out of the #Richmond 2015 World Champs next week due to my shoulder injury sustained last week," said Cavendish via Twitter on Friday morning.
Although x-rays confirmed that there were no fractures or separation of his shoulder joint, Cavendish was finding it hard to continue his training due to discomfort. It is the same shoulder he injured during the 2014 Tour de France.
The withdrawal of the 2011 World Champion from the elite men's road race line-up is the latest blow to the Great Britain team. Cavendish was seen as the team's leading hope for a medal on a course that is deemed favourable for sprinters. His withdrawal comes on the back of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome also pulling out of the race.
“It’s a real blow for Mark to have to pull out of this year’s race as we thought he had a great chance of being successful," said British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton. "Unfortunately the injury he sustained during last week’s Tour of Britain is more serious than we had hoped. We wish him well in his recovery.”
Watch: Mark Cavendish's Specialized Venge
Earlier this morning, Sutton confirmed to Cycling Weekly that Adam Yates would take Thomas's place in the team, but that no replacement had been considered for Cavendish in the nine-man team.
Lizzie Armitstead leads the GB team in the women's road race, where she ranks among the favourites to take the title. Britain also fields a strong team in the under-23 men's road race, with Owain Doull on strong form after placing third overall in the Tour of Britain.
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