London: World and Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton became the latest British athlete to withdraw from this year’s Commonwealth Games on Monday in favour of the European Championships, which carry Olympic qualifying points.
“It’s a no-brainer, points for Olympics qualification are on offer,” the 29-year-old, who won Commonwealth gold in Melbourne, Australia four years ago, told the BBC.
“Unfortunately you are not going to jeopardise going to the London (2012) Olympics, so we have to go to the Europeans.”
The clash of the two events has already forced quadruple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy to withdraw from the Commonwealths in Delhi in October.
The new European championships do not yet have a confirmed date or venue but, following changes to the Olympic programme that will limit the number of riders to one from each country per event and the number of European teams allowed to race in the team sprint, they have become an essential qualifier.
“It’s really unfortunate we can’t do both competitions,” Pendleton added.