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Tour de France winner Egan Bernal will skip this month’s Road World Championships, the cycling federation in his native Colombia said on Tuesday, without indicating the reason.
“The talented cyclist of Team Ineos decided to turn down the call-up” for the race in Harrogate, England, the Colombian Cycling Federation said in a statement.
The 285-kilometre course for the world championships road race on September 29 is not particularly hilly and did not seem ideally suited to mountain climbers like Bernal.
One of Bernal’s main rivals, Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski, also pulled out this week.
On Monday the Colombian Federation had announced some very big names for the road race which included Bernal.
Several climbing stars were named on on the Colombian roster (including Bernal), including Nairo Quintana, Esteban Chaves, and Daniel Martinez. Even with lots of uphill firepower, sprint headliner Fernando Gaviria is someone more likely to shine in the lumpy circuit race in Yorkshire.
Bernal, 22, won a dramatic Tour de France in July, becoming the first Colombian to win cycling’s biggest prize.