US pro road race champion Greg Daniel will forego a chance to double up on jerseys by winning the U23 title in the same year. The 21-year-old Axeon Hagens Berman rider announced on social media Tuesday afternoon that illness will cause him to skip the U23 races later this week in Louisville, Kentucky.
"Unfortunately, after the tour de Beauce I came down with a pretty nasty cold that was working its way through the team," Daniel wrote on Instagram. "Because of this, I will not be able to compete at the U23 national championships this week. Taking this time to rest and recuperate for the second half of the season with the @axeonhb @usacycling boys. Good luck everybody this week!!! Continue bringing home those jerseys!!”
Daniel, who has had a break out year in his fourth season with Axel Merckx's U23 development team, was a top favourite for the win in Kentucky. Aside from his US pro win, which he took with a late solo move, the North Carolina native recently won the final stage and the overall at Tour de Beauce, as well helping Adrien Costa win Tour de Bretagne while riding for the USA Cycling U23 team.
The win at Tour de Beauce on a solid all-rounder's course confirmed that the self-proclaimed "breakaway" specialist has become a legitimate general classification contender. Daniel would have been well suited to the lumpy-but-relatively flat championship course in Kentucky.
Ben King, who was also riding for Merckx's development team at the time, was the last rider to win both the US pro and U23 jerseys in the same year. King won the U23 jersey in Bend, Oregon, in 2010, then took the US pro jersey in Greenville, North Carolina later that summer. King currently rides for Cannondale Pro Cycling.
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