Sam Bennett's Tour de France preparations have been dealt a blow, after he suffered a knee injury in training.
The Carrick-On-Suir rider has withdrawn from the Tour of Belgium in order to rest up ahead of the Grand Tour.
Bennett, who has racked up seven stage wins this year, will aiming to successfully defend his green jersey when the Tour de France gets underway later this month.
“Following a small incident in training last weekend, Sam Bennett has incurred a problem with his right knee,” Bennett's team Deceuninck-Quick-Step has confirmed.
“After consultation with our medical team, it has been decided that he will not start this week’s Belgium Tour and will instead take some rest ahead of the Tour de France.
“Sam will be replaced on Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s roster for the five-day race by Mark Cavendish.”