The Great Britain team for the World Championship road race is set to be confirmed today, but Cycling Weekly understands the final line-up will be David Millar, Chris Froome, Steve Cummings, Russell Downing, Mark Cavendish and Ian Stannard.

It means the four other riders on the short list ? Geraint Thomas, Rob Hayles, Dan Fleeman and Dan Lloyd ? miss out.

The men’s road race concludes the World Championships, which are to be held in Varese, Italy, from September 23 to September 28.

It was always likely David Millar (pictured) would be in the team and Barloworld pair Chris Froome and Steve Cummings were the most likely to join him.

Kenya-born Froome will make his debut for Great Britain having switched to a British racing licence in the spring. He narrowly missed out on eligibility for the Olympic Games. British Cycling had appealed to Kenya’s cycling federation to waive the rule barring athletes from competing for their new country within three years of switching nationality.

At first Kenya’s officials did not realise they had not qualified any riders for the Olympic road events and blocked the application. By they time they realised Froome had already dropped his Kenyan racing licence and that they were standing in the way of him competing in the Olympics, it was too late to complete the formalities.

Cummings has been in sparkling form this summer, taking second place in the Tour of Denmark and again in the Tour of Britain, which ended at the weekend.

Ian Stannard is seen as a key part of the British team’s future lead-out train if Mark Cavendish is to eventually challenge for a world title when the road race is held on a course to his liking. Stannard has a huge engine, has impressed during his debut season as a pro, and sealed his place in the Worlds team with third place in the Tour of Britain.

Cavendish has 17 wins to his name this season and although the Varese course does not suit him, British Cycling know he needs to be exposed to the peculiarities of a World Championship road race as often as possible if he is to capitalise in Melbourne 2010 or Copenhagen 2011 when there is a chance of a bunch sprint.

The final place goes to the man who has dominated the domestic scene all season, Russell Downing. The Pinarello rider has been almost unstoppable at home and his second place overall in the Tour of Ireland has given him the edge over the national champion Rob Hayles and Dan Fleeman, who was seventh in the Tour of Britain.

There may not be much experience of actually finishing a World Championship road race in the six-man squad, but it is the strongest line-up Great Britain has fielded for some years.

Roger Hammond, one of the most experienced riders available, opted not to put himself forward for selection having taken part in the Olympic road race last month.

GREAT BRITAIN ? VARESE 2008

The Great Britain team for the elite men’s road race will be:

STEVE CUMMINGS

Barloworld

Age: 27

Best results this year

Two wins ? a stage of the Giro Regio Calabria and the Coppa Bernocchi ? plus an excellent fourth on a mountain stage of the Giro d?Italia and second place overall in the Tour of Denmark. Second overall in the Tour of Britain

Previous World Championship elite road race experience

DNF in Madrid 2005

CHRIS FROOME

Barloworld

Age: 23

Best results this year

Finished the Tour de France at the first attempt. Was 16th in the final time trial. Recently third in the Giro dell?Appennino

Previous World Championship elite road race experience

None

DAVID MILLAR

Garmin-Chipotle

Age: 31

Best results this year

No wins. Second overall in the Tour of California. Finished the Giro d?Italia and Tour de France and was fifth in the final TT of the Tour

Previous World Championship elite road race experience

54th in Stuttgart in 2007

35th in Salzburg 2006

86th in Hamilton 2003

DNF in Zolder 2002

DNF in Lisbon 2001

IAN STANNARD

Landbouwkrediet

Age: 21

Best results this year

First year as a pro with Landbouwkrediet. Finished Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix at the first attempt. Third overall in the Tour of Britain

Previous World Championship elite road race experience

None

RUSSELL DOWNING

Pinarello

Age: 30

Best results this year

Totally dominant in the UK, winning six rounds of the Premier Calendar series, plus the GP of Wales. Overseas, won the Cinturon Ciclista Majorca in April. Recently won a stage and was second overall in the Tour of Ireland

Previous World Championship elite road race experience

DNF in Salzburg 2006

MARK CAVENDISH

Team Columbia

Age: 23

Best results this year

Four stage wins at the Tour de France, two stage wins at the Giro d’Italia. Won the Madison world title and has taken 17 road wins in total this year.

Previous World Championship elite road race experience

Rode in Stuttgart last year. DNF

RELATED LINK

See how the women’s and under-23 short lists for the World Championships stand