Steve Cummings has withdrawn from the Road World Championships after being given insufficient time to prepare for the individual time trial, which takes place on Wednesday, 20 September, and not being selected for the road race, which takes place four days later.
In a statement issued through British Cycling, the British time trial champion explained how he had been caught off guard by being selected for the individual time trial event rather than the road race, the event around which he had been focussing his training.
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“On 15 August I was told I would be reserve for the time trial so I decided to focus on one day races such as the Worlds, the Canada GPs and some Italian race,” Cummings said.
“I was surprised to learn eight days before the Worlds I had been selected for the time trial. I can’t prepare for the time trial event in eight days from what I’m coming off. So I don’t feel I can do myself justice and would prefer to concentrate on other goals for my team.”
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The Dimension Data rider, who won both the time trial and the road race at the National Championships in June, said that with the training he had been doing to prepare for the road race, who would not be able to perform to a necessary standard in the time trial.
“For me to do a proper job it takes specific training in order to produce a good time trial performance and I haven’t been training on my time trial bike as I was concentrating on the road race. Given that I won’t be able to give my best, it would be appropriate to give the opportunity to another rider.
“I’m a little surprised and disappointed with not making the Worlds road race team. But I have to respect the selection process, and wish all the lads well. I will focus on the remaining Italian races for my team.”
Cummings’s withdrawal means that Chris Froome will now be joined by Tao Geoghegan Hart in the individual time trial, which British Cycling performance director Stephen Park described as “an opportunity he will relish”.