Peter Sagan's Worlds bid hit by illness

Defending champion skips TTT as he recovers for road race

Peter Sagan will not ride the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday and will now only travel to Bergen for the road race next Friday after falling ill on his return to Europe following the WorldTour races in Canada.

Sagan travelled back to Europe last Monday after several weeks of altitude training and after racing the Grand Prix de Quebec and then Sunday's Grand Prix de Montreal. The 2015 and 2016 world champion showed he is on form for a possible third consecutive world title by winning in Quebec.

However, his build-up for Bergen hit a problem when he returned home.

Bora-Hansgrohe senior directeur sportif Enrico Poitschke told Norwegian television channel TV2 about Sagan's illness on Thursday evening. A source confirmed to Cyclingnews that Sagan came down with a temperature on his return to Europe. Sagan's coach Patxi Vila told Cyclingnews that Sagan had suffered with a sore throat.

"He was supposed to do the TTT but we decided it was better he takes it easy, trains at home and then comes back for the road race. It's a throat thing but nothing to worry about," Vila said.

Sagan was entered for the 42.5km team time trial by his Bora-Hansgrohe team but was not named in the final six-rider squad on Friday. Jan Barta, Marcus Burghardt, Maciej Bodnar, Patrick Konrad, Alex Saramotins and Lukas Pöstlberger will represent Bora-Hansgrohe in Bergen.

Poitschke suggested to TV2 that Sagan's illness could affect his chances of winning a third world title next Sunday in the elite men's road race. However, the Bora-Hansgrohe team played down Sagan's absence and the possible impact of his illness.

"The plan was changed because he should focus entirely on the road race. After the altitude training in the United States and races in Canada, he was more tired than the coaches thought, especially with the jet lag," Bora-Hansgrohe press officer Ralph Scherzer told TV2.

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