The Polish team for the UCI Road World Championship suffered dual losses on Friday, with national champion and Vuelta a Espana stage winner Rafal Majka bowing out because of back pain and Katarzyna Pawlowska stepping down because of broken ribs suffered in a crash in the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche last week.
According to TVN24, Majka underwent exaxminations in Germany after continuing to suffer from pain following the Vuelta, and was diagnosed with a minor haematoma. Majka will be replaced by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Pawel Poljanski for the road race, joining Maciej Bodnar, Maciej Paterski, Michal Golas, Lukasz Wisniowski and former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski. Bodnar and Marcin Bialoblocki (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) will compete in the time trial.
Majka has endured a tumultous season, winning the Tour de Slovenie after coming second in the Tour of California, but then crashing out of the Tour de France on the descent from the Col de la Biche on stage 9. He avoided any fractures, but suffered deep abrasions. He then went on to come second overall in the Tour de Pologne before the Vuelta.
But his hopes for the overall classification in Spain ended on stage 4 to Tarragona when the stomach bug that rippled through the peloton left him empty and he conceded almost four minutes to the peloton.
The Polish team still have one of the favourites for the podium in the men's road race in 2014 winner Kwiatkowski. The Team Sky rider won the Clasica San Sebastian after helping Chris Froome to the Tour de France victory, adding to his tally that also included Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo and two podium places in the Ardennes Classics. He went on to finish fifth in the Tour of Britain.
The country also has a major contender for the women's road race in Katarzyna Niewiadoma. The 23-year-old finished the UCI Women's WorldTour ranked third overall after winning the Women's Tour, coming third in the three Ardennes Classics and second at Strade Bianche.
Ewelina Szybiak replaces Pawlowska for the women's road race, joining Niewiadoma, Eugenia Bujak, Malgorzata Jasinska, Marta Lach, and Anna Plichta. Aurela Nerlo will compete in the time trial.
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