Jaime Nielsen ruled out of world road cycling championships through illness
New Zealand has been dealt a double blow for the UCI world road cycling championships with Waikato's Jaime Nielsen joining George Bennett as a non-starter because of illness.
Nielsen has withdrawn from the women's time trial at the championships in Bergen, Norway after sustaining an illness in her build-up in Europe.
She recently set the fastest sea level time for the one-hour time trial at the Avantidrome in Cambridge.
It is another setback for New Zealand riders with Bennet also not well enough to compete, as confirmed by Stuff last week.
Bennett has not recovered sufficiently from a virus that forced his withdrawal initially from the Tour de France, when he was among the leading contenders, and then from the Vuelta á Espana after his illness flared again.
"I had five days completely off the bike and although I've been back on the bike for a few days now and I'm not feeling too bad, there's no way I'm going to be able to get myself in shape to compete," Bennett told Stuff.
"There's also the risk associated with trying to come back too fast."
Bennett has previously competed in the road race at the world championships, but never the time trial.
Believing the course would have suited his strengths, particularly as it finished with a 3.4km climb up Mount Floyen, Bennett said it was tough knowing he will not be in the competition.
"This was probably the best course there's ever been in a world championships for me. I don't know if that will ever come around again or when, so that was really disappointing.
"It's always nice to race for New Zealand and although it's a big disappointment it's not like it's suddenly when I make the decision or when I stopped the Vuelta, the disappointment set in almost [immediately] from the Tour and trying to come back."
There will be no replacements for either rider for the individual time trial, with 11 riders to compete in the championships which begin on Monday (NZ time) for the team time trial among professional teams.