New Zealander rider Sarah Ulmer will bypass the Road Cycling World Championships in Madrid, Spain next week due to a stomach virus that has compromised the last stages of her build up. Ulmer didn't want to attend the biggest event of the year unless she was able to compete on a level playing field, and it has now become evident this won't be possible. "I have unfortunately suffered from a stomach virus for the past 3 weeks which has hampered my final preparation to the extent I don't believe I would be able to compete much above 60 percent of my ability in Madrid," she said.
"Even though Madrid was very much a lead up to my targeted races in 2006, I love competing for New Zealand and was really looking forward to racing at the top level again. I will just have to wait a few more months now for a return to major international competition."
Ulmer's focus remains on her main objective for 2005, which is qualification and preparation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. "I hope to resume normal training within a week, and from there qualification for the Commonwealth Games next March. I am continuing to work with Bike NZ High Performance Director Michael Flynn on what I need to do to qualify, and this all remains very much on track."
Michael Flynn and the New Zealand National Road Coach Jacques Landry supported Ulmer's decision: "Unfortunately elite athletes are exposed to illness and injury from time to time," they said. "We certainly didn't want Sarah racing if her preparation has been compromised. Our full attention with Sarah now shifts to qualification for and then competition in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March."