Lawson Craddock out of World Championships as visa arrives 20 minutes late

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 05 Lawson Craddock of United States and Team EF Education Nippo after crosses the finishing line during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 21 a 338 km Individual Time Trial stage from Padrn to Santiago de Compostela lavuelta LaVuelta21 ITT on September 05 2021 in Santiago de Compostela Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images
Lawson Craddock won't be representing the USA at Worlds this year (Image credit: Getty Images)

A host of riders are skipping the 2022 UCI Road World Championships for a range of reasons, but none more bizarre than Lawson Craddock's. 

The USA rider did not receive a visa allowing him to travel to Australia. Or rather, he did not receive it in time. 

In fact, in agonising fashion, it arrived 20 minutes after his flight to Sydney had departed on Friday. 

Craddock had initially been set to represent the USA in the individual time trial, road race, and also the mixed team relay. 

"Unfortunately, due to visa issues I will not be attending the UCI World Championships in Australia this year," he wrote in a statement. 

"Complications during the process caused my visa to delayed and it wasn’t until about 20 minutes after my flight departed for Australia (without me on it) that it was finally approved. 

"While it still would have been physically possible to make it in time to Australia for the TT tomorrow, I wasn’t confident that it would allow me enough time to recover enough from the Vuelta, travel, and jet lag to allow me to put my best performance out on the road. Disappointed with how things turned out in the end, but I’m looking forward to ending the season on a high note with [BikeExchange-Jayco]."

It is unclear what caused the delay in Craddock's visa approval. He is said to have filed his application well over a month ago. 

Speaking at the Vuelta a España earlier this month, he revealed he had been denied a visa, and appeared pessimistic about being let into Australia to ride Worlds. 

In the end, he was granted access to travel but his plane was already taking flight.

Craddock's absence leaves the USA with just five riders for next weekend's elite men's road race, with no time to call in a replacement. Neilson Powless will step in to take the second time trial slot alongside Magnus Sheffield, while Kyle Murphy, Keegan Swenson, and Scott McGill are the other riders in the elite men's squad.

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Patrick Fletcher