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"Javier, my head just told me enough is enough. I need to rest. Kind regards," 

Photo: ANSA-PERI / Dal Zennaro

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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09.10.2016 @ 13:36 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Spanish website El Confidencial has told of how Alejandro Valverde text Spanish selector Javier Minguez after Il Lombardia to let him know he was not going to race the Worlds.

 

"Javier, my head just told me enough is enough. I need to rest. Kind regards," is what the site reports the text as saying. Minguez claimed at the Vuelta that he would have no issues selecting a team of nine for the race, but that appears to have been untrue.

 

Spain, an animator of almost every Worlds for the last decade, has seen many riders drop out of selection contention for Qatar as the course is too flat. Others like Valverde and Luis Leon Sanchez didn’t want to extend their season by almost three weeks to do a race that simply doesn’t suit them. Injuries to Movistar duo Ruben Fernandez and Jose Joaquin Rojas have been anything but helpful too.

 

In fact, the nine man team features nine Worlds debutants: Caja Rural’s Carlos Barbero and Diego Rubio, Cofidis’ Luis Ángel Maté, Etixx’s David de la Cruz and Dimension Data’s Omar Fraile. Movistar trio Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti and Fran Ventoso will support their trade team teammate Juan Jose Lobato in the sprint.

 

Lobato has struggled for form of later after winning five races early in the season. The future LottoNL-Jumbo rider was fourth in Gran Piemonte though, showing his form may be picking up at the right time.

 

In fact, Castroviejo is only riding the road race as he wanted to do the time trial, considering he is one of the most onform riders in the discipline at the moment. However, he has described the course as “anti-me”, with Minhuez agreeing: “He is our best chance, no doubt, but the course doesn’t suit him at all,” Mínguez told El Confidencial.

 

This could be a harsh Worlds for the Spanish, as a medal of any colour would be a huge surprise on such an anti-Spanish course.

 

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