The 20 year-old Blanka Vas was expected to line up at the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong later this month as one of the favourites to take out the first ever women’s U23 world road race title, however the rider from Hungary is no longer planning to take to the start line.
Vas, who joined SD Worx in the middle of last season, just missed the podium in the elite category last year with a fourth placed finish at the Flanders World Championships and has consistently delivered strong results on the road this season, coming eighth in her last race, the Classic Lorient Agglomération.
Eurosport, however reported that the rider was asked to reconsider her plans to go to the World Championships in Australia by her team, SD Worx, and sports director Anna van der Breggen given the long journey and upcoming cyclo-cross season.
“It wouldn’t mean much to SD Worx if I won a medal in U23, and I’d rather do well in cross,” Vas told Eurosport (opens in new tab). “The European Championship is especially important to me, which will take place at the beginning of November, and it’s not that far away.
“And before that, I want to pick up the rhythm in smaller Czech competitions. And if I travel to the other side of the world, that would mean quite a bit of extra burden.”
Vas added that while the team made the request it was her call to skip the Road World Championships.
“I made the decision on this issue, but the team really asked me to reconsider my start,” said Blanka to Eurosport, who finished eighth at Classic Lorient Agglomération on Saturday.
While Vas won’t be riding at the Wollongong Worlds, which runs September 18-25, she will line up at the five-stage Ceratizit Challenge by la Vuelta, said Eurosport, before then turning her attention to the first Cyclo-cross World Cup race on October 23 at Tábor in the Czech Republic.
The news that Vas isn’t lining up to contest the newly introduced women’s U23 titles, which are decided within a combined elite/U23 race, follows the announcements from both the Australian and US that neither team will have any women’s U23 riders included in the squad.
The World Championships team for New Zealand is yet to be named but Vas’ SD Worx teammate Niamh Fisher-Black is another rider who, if present, will be considered a likely contender for the U23 women’s title.