British rider Mark Cavendish confirmed on Wednesday that he has pulled out of this week’s world road race championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The 24-year-old has been suffering from a respiratory infection and has also been affected by the road accident which left fellow Isle of Man cyclist Jonny Bellis critically injured in hospital in Italy. His place will go to Ian Stannard.
With 10 Grand Tour victories – including a British record six in the Tour de France – and victory in the prestigious Milan-San Remo Classic this season, Cavendish established himself as the world’s leading sprinter and helped to earn Britain the full complement of nine riders for the men’s road race, which takes place in Mendrisio on Sunday.
However, the Columbia-HTC rider, who has two track world titles in the Madison, was unlikely to challenge on the tough Swiss terrain.
Scot David Millar is set to lead the squad, which is made up of five riders who will compete for Team Sky in 2010 – Stephen Cummings, Russell Downing, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Stannard – as well as Roger Hammond, Dan Lloyd and Ben Swift.