Road World Championships: GB's Steve Cummings pulls out of time trial

Steve Cummings
Steve Cummings rode the Grands Prix de Quebec and Montreal over the weekend on his return from a back injury
UCI Road World Championships 2017
Host: Bergen, Norway Dates: 17-24 September
Coverage: Live coverage of the elite men's and women's time trials and road races on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, BBC Sport website & app - full broadcast schedule here

Great Britain's Steve Cummings has withdrawn from the individual time trial at the Road World Championships in Norway this week.

The national time trial and road race champion said he was "surprised and disappointed" not to be selected for Britain's nine-man road race team.

Cummings, 36, returned to racing on Friday after fracturing two vertebrae in his back during the Tour de France.

Tao Geoghegan Hart, 22, will replace Cummings in Bergen.

Four-time Tour de France champion and recent Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Froome will be Britain's other rider in the time trial.

The World Championships take place from 17-24 September.

The men's time trial will be held on Wednesday and the road race on the final day of the event.

'I haven't been training for the time trial'

Cummings said he was told on 15 August he would be the reserve rider for the time trial and therefore chose to focus on one-day races, including the World Championships road race.

"I was surprised to learn eight days before the Worlds I had been selected for the time trial," he said.

"I can't prepare for the worlds time trial event in eight days from what I'm coming off.

"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."

Cummings, who became the first man in 10 years to win the double at the national road championships in June, said he will focus on the remaining one-day races in Italy with his professional outfit Team Dimension Data.

British Cycling performance director Stephen Park said Cummings' withdrawal was "disappointing".

"We respect his decision and understand that he is motivated to turn his focus elsewhere," he said.

"I am sure there will be plenty more opportunities for Steve to represent Great Britain in the future."

Last year, Cummings accused Great Britain's road race coach Rod Ellingworth of a "conflict of interest" after he was left out of the five-man team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He was later called up when Peter Kennaugh volunteered to pull out because of a lack of form after breaking his collarbone.

GB team at World Championships

Elite men

Time trial: Chris Froome, Tao Geoghegan Hart.

Road Race: Adam Blythe, Mark Christian, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Scott Thwaites.

Elite women

Time trial: Elinor Barker, Hannah Barnes.

Road Race: Elinor Barker, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Lizzie Deignan, Dani King, Mel Lowther, Hayley Simmonds.

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