Mark Cavendish has expressed his disappointment at having to miss the British Cycling National Road Championships road race on Sunday 29 June, due a bout of bronchitis contracted in the latter stages of Tour du Suisse.
The 2013 champion issued a statement on the Omega Pharma-Quick Step website on Wednesday evening, explaining that in order to be ready for the Tour de France, he must forego a defence of the title he won in Glasgow and concentrate on recovery and training in Italy ahead of the Tour de France, which begins in Leeds on 5 July.
The full statement read as follows:
"I'm sad because, as current champion, I would really like to defend the title," Cavendish said. "I would have liked to honor the race and this jersey that I wore for all of 2014 so far, which allowed me to represent my country proudly.
“I think it's wiser, however, to not take any risks and focus on absolute, 100 percent recovery, and continue to train in function of the Tour de France.
“I talked with the race organizers and they understood my situation perfectly. I wish them well, and also wish good luck to all riders at the race on Sunday trying to fight for this jersey I've been so proud to wear."