Cycling - Cavendish pulls out of European Championships road race

Slideshow ( 3 images )

GLASGOW (Reuters) - Britain’s former world champion Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the European Championships road race on medical advice, British Cycling announced on Thursday.

Sunday’s projected clash between 2011 world champion Cavendish and Slovakia’s current world champion Peter Sagan around the streets of Glasgow had been billed as a final day highlight of the inaugural multi-sports championship.

But the 33-year-old Cavendish, an all-time great road sprinter who has struggled with injury and illness following several crashes this season, has withdrawn after advice from his medical team.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to have to withdraw from the Great Britain cycling team competing in Glasgow,” Cavendish said. “Being selected to compete for my country is a huge honour and I had been looking forward to racing with the team.

“However, given what’s been a challenging few months in terms of aiming to sufficiently recover from some unfortunate injuries in time to compete, I’ve been advised at this stage the best thing is for me to withdraw from Sunday’s race.”

Sagan, who had another triumphant Tour de France by winning the points classification for the sixth time, will still have plenty of high-quality opposition in Sunday’s race headed by Norway’s defending champion Alexander Kristoff.

Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Hugh Lawson