Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thomas out of World Championships

Geraint Thomas
Thomas rode for Team Sky during this year's Tour de France

Geraint Thomas has pulled out of the Great Britain team for the road cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

The Welsh Team Sky rider had been named as one of two riders to support Mark Cavendish's bid for the rainbow jersey.

Thomas, who held the best young rider's white jersey during the first week of July's Tour de France, will now focus on next month's Commonwealth Games.

"I'm not going to be riding because I haven't felt too good since the Tour," admitted the 24-year-old.

"I had a bit of down time and then at Eneco [last month's Eneco Tour] I was struggling to get back into it.

"I decided to just pull out because I don't think I'll be 100% there so I thought it would be better to step aside and let one of the other guys ride who are going to be more motivated and going a bit better."

Thomas' participation in Australia would have clashed with track events at the Commonwealth Games, but he has now added the individual pursuit to his programme for Delhi.


His withdrawal from the 262.7 kilometre road race from Melbourne to Geelong on 3 October could impact on 25-year-old Cavendish's hopes of emulating Tommy Simpson, whose victory in 1965 is Britain's sole overall triumph in the event.

British cycling has yet to name a replacement for Thomas to join Cavendish and Jeremy Hunt in the event.

However, David Millar, who is already in Australia to compete in the time trial, is one possible contender.

Britain were only allocated three places for the event rather than the maximum nine, further hindering Cavendish over flat terrain that could lead to the sort of sprint finish for which the Isle of Man is renowned.

"It definitely limits Cav's chances, only having two guys to help him," said Thomas. "He's just got to try to hang in there.

"He can look after himself a bit and he's got that respect in the peloton - people want to be on his wheel, rather than trying to fight him for somebody else's wheel. That's a big advantage for him."

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