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Wegmann skips Vuelta to protect Worlds chances

Milram's Fabian Wegmann will miss the Vuelta a España due to an ongoing back injury, he confirmed. The German said that while the injury has responded to recent treatment he will miss the Vuelta in order to ensure full recovery for the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

"I have decided today to waive the Vuelta in order not to jeopardise a possible World championship start," wrote Wegmann on his personal website on Monday.

Wegmann's doctor is confident that Wegmann is close to full recovery, Milram press officer Max Biermann told Cyclingnews today. The doctor warned the Wegmann, 29, against starting his second Grand Tour of the year.

"The doctor checked Fabian again over the weekend and said that it's nearly okay," said Biermann. "But he said that it's too early to race a three-week Tour like the Vuelta, because he's not sure how secure his back is."

Wegmann crashed at the Dauphiné Libéré in June and worsened his injury with his participation in the Tour de France. Wegmann missed both the Vattenfall Cyclassics and the GP Ouest-France while he was treated.

Milram said it now expects Wegmann to return to competition in Italy, on the weekend before the World Championships. "He is planning to race two Italian one-day races, the Memorial Viviana and GP Industria," said Beirmann. "His main goal is to be prepared for the Worlds. He will continue to train and then start with these races to be as well prepared for the World Championships as possible."

Björn Schröder will replace Wegmann in Milram's Vuelta team.

"If [Wegmann] is healthy he's always a good weapon because he's always good for an escape group or to help the team and the captains," said Beirmann. "But now that Björn Schröder will now replace him at the Vuelta, it may be a bigger advantage for Gerald Ciolek. Schröder's also good for an escape group, but may be able to help set up the sprints too."

Milram's full line-up for the Vuelta a España should be announced on tomorrow.

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