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Bernal, Nibali and Kwiatkowski all set to skip World Championships due to poor form

Joe Robinson
17 Sep 2019

Trio decide against racing Yorkshire Worlds after gruelling seasons and lack of form

Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, Team Ineos teammate Michal Kwiatkowski and multiple Monument champion Vincenzo Nibali have all decided to skip the World Championships in Yorkshire next weekend.

All three have decided against the gruelling 285km course finishing in Harrogate citing tough seasons and an inability to ride at their best as the reason for their absences.

Bernal had been named on Monday by the Colombian National Federation as part of the eight-man roster for the road race, however the governing body was then forced into an embarrassing position less than a day later, confirming he would actually miss the race with Movistar's Carlos Betancur taking his spot.

'Bernal had been included by coach Carlos Mario Jaramillo among the eight riders selected along with Nairo Quintana, Fernando Gaviria, Alvaro Hodeg, Sebastian Molano, Sebastian Henao, Esteban Chaves and Daniel Martinez,' read in a statement.

'However on Monday, the closing day of the registrations with the UCI, the talented Team Ineos rider decided to decline selection, which is why Betancur, entered in the pre-selection, took his place.'

The 22-year-old is currently in Europe, training in Italy, but is training for the end of season Italian Autumn Classics rather than representing his country in Yorkshire.

Likewise, four-time Grand Tour winner Nibali has also pulled out of the Worlds having already been named in the squad.

The Bahrain-Merida rider had been selected as part of Italy's eight-man team but then admitted he was not in the form needed to represent his country with 'respect'.

'The Italian jersey is scary for me, you have to show respect. I'm not on top form and so it's not right I take someone else's place,' Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport after racing in Canada.

The Azzurri will now ride in support of versatile sprint duo Matteo Trentin and Sonny Colbrelli.

The final big-name omission is former World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski who declared himself unavailable for Yorkshire after admitting he was not in shape to challenge at the race.

The 2014 champion has had a quiet year, struggling to impress as a domestique for Team Ineos at the Tour de France before producing anonymous performances at the Grand Prix Quebec and Montreal.

'I feel nothing but respect for these colours and the Polish eagle on the jersey, hence I will not ride 2019 Worlds,' Kwiatkowski wrote on Twitter.

'I said after Tour de France that my body was screaming for a break. Since then, I’m not chasing the results. I really needed this. I will keep my fingers crossed for the Polish team.'

Poland will now focus its attentions on Bora-Hansgrohe's Rafal Majka who recently showed good form finishing sixth on General Classification at the Vuelta a Espana.