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Romero won't defend World Championship title

Rebecca Romero (Great Britain) will not defend her pursuit title

Rebecca Romero (Great Britain) will not defend her pursuit title
(Image credit: John Pierce)

There will be a new world champion in the women's individual pursuit race in Pruskow, Poland, next month. Defending champion Rebecca Romero has decided to skip the race. She will, however, continue her cycling career, according to endurance coach Dan Hunt.

At the Beijing Olympic Games she beat Wendy Houvenaghel to win the gold medal in the individual pursuit event. In the 2004 Games in Athens she finished second in the rowing competition.

Rumours started after Beijing that she may try to medal in a third sport. But her main goal is to deliver a gold medal for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics in London, and cycling offers her the best chance.

Women's endurance coach Hunt confirmed to Cycling Weekly she still won't compete in her first event since the Olympics. "We'll not see her at the Worlds," he said. "But it's absolutely not the last we'll see of her on the track.

"We have decided we would have a little bit of time away, chill out, gather thoughts and then we can build again.

"We expect a lot from these riders and after what we did with 'Becks', working for two-and-a-half years absolutely flat out, we recognise you can't carry on at that level and keep peaking. It's unreasonable to expect an athlete to be at their absolute best for that length of time, so a bit of time out will do everyone good."

Houvenaghel missed the Copenhagen World Cup due to her road training but is ready to go to Poland.