The Tour of Spain winner Alberto Contador will sit out of the season-ending Tour of Beijing with a knee injury, his absence ensuring fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde will finish at the top of cycling's WorldTour rankings.
Tinkoff-Saxo rider Contador crashed near the finish of Monday's Tour of Lombardy, allowing second-place finisher Valverde to leapfrog his rival in the standings with one WorldTour event left, the Tour of Beijing starting on Saturday.
"Bad news. Training today, hardly could pedal because of the knee, finally I don't go to China. Next thing is to do an MRI and start thinking of 2015," Contador wrote on his Twitter account today..
Valverde, who finished fourth overall in the Tour de France and third in the Vuelta, has 686 points in the WorldTour rankings to Contador's 620.
Australia's Simon Gerrans is third on 478 points but cannot overhaul the Spaniards.