Mark Cavendish heads British Cycling’s long list of riders to represent Great Britain at the 2011 road world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, over September 19-25.
Britain qualified for eight places in the men’s road race event, and Cavendish is spearheading the country’s bid for the world title. He will be backed by one of the strongest British squads ever seen at the championships on a course that suits the Manxman’s explosive sprint finish.
The women’s road race team is equally as strong, with Emma Pooley, reigning Olympic champion Nicole Cooke and Lizzie Armitstead among those vying for a place on the seven-woman team.
Current Vuelta a Espana overall leader Bradley Wiggins will contest the men’s time trial alongside 2010 runner-up David Millar and on-form Alex Dowsett.
British time trial multi-champion Julia Shaw has been selected alongside current world champion Emma Pooley and Sharon Laws in the women’s time trial.
“This is the biggest team we’ve taken to a Road World Championships demonstrating the continuous progression of road racing in the UK,” said British Cycling performance manager David Brailsford.
“It’s great to see the positive impact that Team Sky has had on young developing riders, with Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Pete Kennaugh and Alex Dowsett all being long-listed.
“We are heading to the road Worlds with serious aspirations this year. The long-listed team will be narrowed down over the next week, and everyone on the team – both riders and support staff – is excited about the event.”
Cavendish abandoned the Vuelta a Espana on stage four due to an unspecified illness, which has raised questions over his racing fitness going into the world championships. There is still a chance that he may ride the Tour of Britain (September 11-18) as last-minute preparation for the Worlds.
Cavendish won the London-Surrey Cycle Classic Olympic test event on August 14 in Great Britain colours, seen by many as a dry run for the Worlds as much as a leg tester for next year’s Games.
Elite Men’s Road Race (Eight places)
Elite Men’s Time Trial (Two places)
Elite Women’s Road Race (Seven places)
Elite Women’s Time Trial (Three places)
U23 Men’s Road Race (Five/six places – to be confirmed after Nations Cup)
U23 Men’s Time Trial (Two places)
Junior Men’s Road Race (Five places)
Junior Men’s Time Trial (Two places)
Junior Women’s Road Race (Four places)
Junior Women’s Time Trial (Two places)