HALESOWEN cycling star Jess Varnish will miss this month’s World Track Championships because of an ongoing back injury.

The 22-year-old was yesterday omitted from Great Britain’s squad for the championships, which take place in the Belarusian city of Minsk between February 20 and 24.

Varnish and Becky James would have been among the favourites for the team sprint title but instead the latter will now ride with 19-year-old Vicky Williamson.

British Cycling coach Iain Dyer revealed Varnish had been suffering with a back complaint for some time.

He said: “It started off as a bit of a rumble in her lumbar spine and we were able to manage that through soft tissue therapy.

“After the Olympics she had a break and got back into training and we were particularly mindful we needed to take things pretty steady getting back into the gym and back on the bike.

“But by the time the end of the year came around and we’d finished the Perth training camp her back had clearly become a lot more troublesome.

“We’ve done the best we can to manage and treat the issue but ultimately something like a disc fissure is hard to treat with anything other than rest.”