Mikel Landa has opted to pull out of the Spanish squad for the World Championships road race as he continues to recover from a fractured vertebra.
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Landa crashed and sustained the injury at the Clásica San Sebastián in August and was unable to return in time to race the Vuelta a España alongside his Movistar team-mates Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.
The Basque rider returned to racing for the first time on Wednesday at the one-day Giro della Toscana in Italy, but failed to finish.
In a statement, the Spanish Cycling Federation said Landa then contacted national coach Javier Mínguez following the race to tell him that “he still didn’t have good sensations on the bike” and that he couldn’t compete in Innsbruck on September 30.
Landa will be replaced by Astana’s Omar Fraile, who was unlucky to miss out on initial selection after a stellar season which saw him win a stage of the Tour de France as well as stages at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Romandie.
Fraile will form part of the eight-man road race squad along with a strong line-up including Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Enric Mas (Quick-Step), Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), David de la Cruz and Jonathan Castroviejo (both Team Sky).
The Innbruck course for this year’s Worlds will be a brutal affair, but present a rare opportunity for the pure climbers with over 5,000m of climbing in the 265km course.
For the time trial, which takes place a few days before the road race, Spain will send national champion Castroviejo along with one of Marc Soler and of Imanol Erviti filling the other spots. Selection will be decided based on how either rider performs in the team time trial for Movistar, which takes place this Sunday on September 23.