Cycling: Bradley Wiggins a doubt for world road race after quitting British tour
Saturday 15 September 2012
Great Britain have finalised their selection for next week's road event at the World Championships in the Netherlands, although Bradley Wiggins' participation is in doubt.
Wiggins, the Tour de France winner and four-times Olympic champion, was named in the nine-man road race team for the Worlds yesterday, just hours after he withdrew from the remainder of the Tour of Britain with a stomach bug.
The situation will be monitored ahead of the road race, which takes place a week tomorrow, when Mark Cavendish will line up to defend the title he won in Copenhagen 12 months ago. Cavendish, who is unlikely to retain the rainbow jersey on an undulating 261km (163-mile) route, and Wiggins are joined in the team by Tour de France runner-up Chris Froome and British champion Ian Stannard.
Olympic team pursuit champions Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh were named on the 14-man long list but did not make the final cut.
Froome and Alex Dowsett were named as Britain's entrants in Wednesday's 45.7km time trial, with Wiggins earlier announcing he would not be participating in the race.
Emma Pooley and Wendy Houvenaghel are Britain's entrants in the 24.1km women's time trial, which takes place on Tuesday. Houvenaghel, who recently won the British title, was selected despite voicing her unhappiness after failing to win a place – and therefore a gold medal – in the Olympic team pursuit squad.
Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King won Olympic gold last month with a sixth successive world record but, despite being on the long list, none of them made final selection for Limburg.
Of Houvenaghel, British Cycling's head coach, Shane Sutton said: "You've got to depersonalise these things. At the end of the day, I put out a team that I thought could win us a gold medal. I have no doubt that Wendy could step into any other team in the world. Unfortunately, she's come up against three hot properties in women's cycling and the record speaks for itself."
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who is rumoured to be joining Team Sky in 2013, was also named in the British team and justified his selection by seizing the overall lead after stage six of the Tour of Britain with an aggressive ride in Wales yesterday.
Leopold König of Team NetApp claimed victory on the 118-mile route from Welshpool to Caerphilly; Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing) finished second to assume the race leader's gold jersey with two days of racing remaining. Tiernan-Locke, who received a six-second time bonus, has a 13-second lead over the previous leader, Leigh Howard, going into today's seventh and penultimate stage from Barnstaple to Dartmouth.
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