Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is still unsure of his participation in the world championships road race in Valkenburg, admitting that he is concerned that he does not have the endurance necessary for the 260km event.
Chavanel has already stated that his priorities lie in Sunday’s team time trial and Wednesday’s individual time trial, although manager Laurent Jalabert is keen that he also lines up in the road race, where he has been selected in a team built around Thomas Voeckler (Europcar).
“For now, I’m still not sure if I’ll participate in the road race at the Worlds,” Chavanel told L’Équipe. “Above all, I want to concentrate on the two time trial events. From experience, I know that that isn’t the best way to prepare for the road race.”
Second at the Eneco Tour in August, thanks in part to a solid showing in the time trial, Chavanel recently lined up at the two WorldTour events in Canada, the Grand Prix de Montréal and the Grand Prix de Québec, but said that he had struggled with the distance. He finished 50th in each race.
“I’m not sure if I have the distance in my legs, as I realised in Quebec,” Chavanel said. “I want to be honest with the French team and I don’t want to take the place of someone else who is in better form than me. I’ve spoken about it with [French manager] Laurent Jalabert on the phone and he told me to take the time to reflect on it because he’s really counting on me.
“But I don’t want to start if I’m not sure that I have the capacity to help Thomas Voeckler as we’ve been asked. I’m still leaving myself some time to think about it.”
One French rider who is certainly ruled out of the road race is Jérémie Galland (Saur-Sojasun), who crashed and broke his collarbone at the Tour of Britain. His place in the French team has been taken by Jérémy Roy (FDJ-BigMat). Roy will also take part in the time trial on Wednesday.