The 2007 UCI Road World Championships kick off on Wednesday (September 26) in Stuttgart, Germany, starting with the under-23 men’s time trial, followed by the elite women’s time trial in the afternoon.

On Thursday, it’s the turn of the elite men to test themselves against the clock. There’s then a break in the competition on Friday before the road racing commences on Saturday with the under-23 men and elite women’s event. Sunday is taken up solely with the elite men’s road race.

The road race course is by no means flat – each lap of the 19.1 kilometre circuit includes just over 400 metres of climbing. Elite men go around the circuit a dizzying total of 14 times, which means they’ll have to face the 13 per cent Herdweg climb 14 times.

It’s on the Herdweg that each of the road race events are likely to be decided in the later laps. It’s a circuit that will suit tough all-rounders – someone like defending World Champ Paolo Bettini, in fact – rather than pure sprinters or climbers.

BRITISH HOPES
Great Britain fields a very strong team across all disciplines this year. British road race and time trial national champion David Millar will ride both TT and road race; Bradley Wiggins also contests the TT, and Millar is joined by Mark Cavendish and Roger Hammond in the road race.

Thanks to British women’s accomplishments on the international circuit, five GB women will be on the start line of the women’s road race: Lizzie Armitstead, Catherine Hare, Rachel Heal, Emma Pooley, Tanja Slater and Helen Wyman. Unarguably Britain’s strongest rider, Nicole Cooke, is absent from the event as she is still recovering from knee surgery. Wendy Houvenaghel and Emma Pooley represent Britain in the women’s time trial.

Britain also fields a classy line-up in the under-23 categories: fresh from T-Mobile stagiaire duties, Ian Stannard takes part in both the TT, as GB’s sole participant, and road race. He’s joined in the road race by Tour of Britain king of the mountains Ben Swift and John Bellis. The full GB line-up is listed below.

We’ll be covering every move in the 2007 Road World Championships right here on www.cyclingweekly.co.uk, with daily updates, results, photos and news.

David Millar rides in both time trial and road race

GREAT BRITAIN TEAM
Men?s elite time trial: David Millar, Bradley Wiggins
Men?s elite road race: Mark Cavendish, Roger Hammond, David Millar
Women?s time trial: Wendy Houvenaghel, Emma Pooley
Women?s road race: Lizzie Armitstead, Catherine Hare, Rachel Heal, Emma Pooley, Tanja Slater, Helen Wyman
Men?s under-23 time trial: Ian Stannard
Men?s under-23 road race: Ben Swift, Ian Stannard, John Bellis

————————————————————————–

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS


Wednesday, September 26
09:00?13:15 Time Trial (Men U23)
Distance: 38.28 km
Climbing: 670.4 m


13:00?16:05 Time Trial (Elite women)
Distance: 25.14 km
Climbing: 415.4 m


Elite men time trial course profile

Thursday, September 27
12:30?17:00 Time Trial (Elite men)
Distance: 45 km
Climbing: 712.6 m


Road race course profile

Saturday, September 29
09:00?12:45 Road Race (Elite women)
Distance: 133.7 km (7 laps)
Climbing: 2,839.9m


13:30?18:05 Road Race (Men U23)
Distance: 171.9 km (9 laps)
Climbing: 3,651.3m


Sunday, September 30
10:30?17:30 Road Race (Elite men)
Distance: 267.4 km (14 laps)
Climbing: 5,679.8m


————————————————————————–

Fabian Cancellara, 2006 Time Trial World Champion

THE DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPIONS (2006 WINNERS)


Time Trial (Elite men): Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
Time Trial (Elite women): Kirstin Armstrong (USA)
Road Race (Elite men): Paolo Bettini (Italy)
Road Race (Elite women): Marianne Vos (Netherlands)

————————————————————————–

RELATED LINKS

2007 ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE
Elite Women’s Time Trial: Pooley takes eighth,
Under-23 Time Trial: Boom takes second world title in 2007
Eddy Merckx not welcome at Worlds
Elite Men Time Trial: full start list
TV guide: World Champs on British Eurosport
TV guide: World Champs on BBC
Cooke out of Worlds, Brailsford names GB squad
British team get extra places for U23 Worlds
Boonen out of Worlds
Should Valverde ride the Worlds?
World Champs 2006: Cancellara nets gold in TT
World Champs 2006: Cooke blasts to bronze in Salzburg

EXTERNAL LINKS
Official 2007 Road World Championships website: www.radwm2007.com.
Union Cycliste Internationale: www.uci.ch.