Eritrean history maker Biniam Girmay is out of the Cycling World Championships in Scotland because of injury.
The 23-year-old was hoping to become Africa’s first world champion in Sunday’s men’s road race after last year becoming the first black African to win a Grand Tour stage.
However, his Intermarche Circus Wanty team said he would not be able to race as he was recovering from a crash.
“I’m of course very disappointed to withdraw,” Girmay said.
He said the event had been “a main goal for this season” but the injuries suffered in a crash at last weekend’s Clasica San Sebastian “caused too severe pain to be able to defend my chances in the Worlds”.
The 60km/h crash had left Girmay suffering “from contusions and pain in the hip”, his team said.
“My priority is now to recover from this crash and then the preparation for the last part of the season,” Girmay added.
Girmay won silver in the under-23 men’s race at the 2021 World Championships. The following year he made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, winning stage 10 for his history-making moment.
News of his withdrawal came hours after reports claimed Girmay and three of his Eritrean team-mates had been refused entry to the UK for the World Championships.
Global Cycling Network said the four had been denied visas to enter the country. One of the riders, Merhawi Kudus, retweeted a link to the story, writing “Sad!!” and tagging world governing body the UCI and the championships organisers.