Paris - German team leader John Degenkolb has pulled out of the world championships in Bergen, Norway with a respiratory problem.
"I won't start in Bergen," Degenkolb wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
The 28-year-old pulled out of both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana this year, the latter because of bronchitis.
"Believe me, it was not an easy decision," added Degenkolb who won classics as diverse as the pancake flat Milan-SanRemo and the rough and tumble Paris-Roubaix with its cobbled sections.
The Trek-Segafredo team doctor Jens Hinder told Degenkolb that racing in Bergen was inadvisable after he had struggled at the Vuelta because of an "airway problem" that had not gone away.
"This is a big blow to us because John Degenkolb was a good captain," the German cycling federation said.