British Cycling?s selection panel meet this Friday (August 24th) to decide which riders will be taking part at the World Championships in Stuttgart next month.
David Millar is believed to be the front runner for the men?s time trial event, but the Saunier Duval-Prodir leader and British National Champion may have a tougher time getting a place in the road-race line-up.
?There?s an unusually high level of interest amongst the British pros this year.? Commented British Cycling?s Dave Brailsford.
?It?s going to be a tough course for any of the current crop of British pros to shine on because there?s so much climbing.? Veteran Roger Hammond warned Cyclingweekly.co.uk. ?In fact, its tailor-made for Ardennes Classics specialists like Paolo Bettini or Danilo Di Luca.?
The 267.4km men’s road race covers 14 laps of a rolling course in Stuttgart, southern Germany. The a 1.5km climb of Herdweg, will be decisive although it’s not tough enough to make it a course for pure climbers.
In a year of mounting success in which British riders have won stages in four ProTour races, and with Britain is currently 14th in the ProTour series, just three British riders are eligible to take part in the senior men?s World Championships this year.
This is because Britain has just one rider in the top 100 of the ProTour rankings ? Roger Hammond. The T-Mobile rider was second at Ghent Wevelgem and seventh in Paris Roubaix in a four day purple patch last April that helped kick start his team?s season.
Hammond is now ranked 41st, with 45 points. His young team mate Mark Cavendish, who has seven wins this season alone, only has 6 points, from his two stage wins at the Tour of Catlunya.
Nicole Cooke will lead the British women’s team that covers the same circuit in a bid to secure her first senior world title. This year the Raliegh-Lifeforce-Creation rider looks to have a strong team around her, capable of taking her all the way to the finish line. Rachel Heal, Emma Pooley, Tanja Slater and Anneliese Heard all being strong candidates. The women’s race uses the same lap as the mens race, covering it seven times in the 133.7km race.
The world championships run from September 26 – 30. Visit the event website at www.radwm2007.com
ProTour standings for British (male) riders
41st Roger Hammond (T-Mobile) 45pts
125th Stephen Cummings (Discovery Channel) 7pts
135th Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) 6pts
159th David Millar (Saunier Duval) 3pts
171st Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) 3pts