Great Britain?s David Millar and Steve Cummings have completed their final training and build up for the Elite men?s time trial on Thursday, and both could challenge for medals in the absence of two-time world and Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara.

The Swiss CSC rider announced on Sunday he will not ride in this year?s world championships, throwing the 43.7km time trial wide open. Millar won the time trial in Hamilton in 2003 but the title was later awarded to Australia?s Michael Rogers when Millar confessed to taking EPO to win the rainbow jersey. The 2009 world championships are his final races after a long season that started with the Tour of California in mid February and included the Giro d?Italia and Tour de France.

Cummings finished 11th in the Beijing Olympics despite losing his chain twice, but is on form and fired up to do well after finishing second in the recent Tour of Britain. Cummings rode a Great Britain bike in Beijing, but team obligations means he will ride his team-issue Bianchi bike in Varese.

ROUTE DETAILS

The two Brits carefully studied the time trial course on Wednesday morning during a rolling road closure controlled by Italian police. Both rode most of the course on their time trial bikes and then switched to their road bikes.

Cycling Weekly was in the Great Britain team car and made the detailed route notes that team manager Max Sciandri will use to study the route with Millar and Cummings. You can read the Team GB route notes here.

Millar was careful to remember the tight town centre corners early on and we noted the position of several grids and manhole covers on the racing line. Millar liked the fast flat roads around Lake Varese and the fast descent on the bottom side of the lake. Speeds will touch 80km/h on the long straight descent to Azzate, with the riders ready for take out just like the airplane parked in the centre of the roundabout.

The key part of the course will be the final five kilometres back up to Varese town centre. The wide roads turn narrow and head upwards with five hundred metres of nasty climbing before the final three kilometres on the road race circuit back to the finish inside the racecourse.

In the absence of Cancellara, the names to watch include: Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spain), Marco Pinotti (Italy), David Zabriskie (USA), triple Tour of Britain stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), local resident Michael Rogers (Australia), Olympic silver medallist Gustav Larsson (Sweden) and last man off Levi Leipheimer (USA).

Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan) is first rider off at 12:00 UK time. Cummings starts at 1:18 and Millar starts at 1:46.

KEY RIDERS START TIMES

All UK times

12:00 Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan)

12:42 Serhiy Honchar (Ukraine)

13:04 Lars Bak (Denmark)

13:16 Tony Martin (Germany)

13:20 Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spain)

13:26 Stijn Devolder (Belgium)

13:36 Marco Pinotti (Italy)

13:38 Sylvain Chavanel (France)

13:40 David Zabriskie (USA)

13:42 Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia)

13:44 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)

13:46 David Millar (Great Britain)

13:48 Stef Clement (Belgium)

13:50 Michael Rogers (Australia)

13:52 Gustav Larsson (Sweden)

13:54 Levi Leipheimer (USA).

ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008

NEWS

Millar and Cummings ready for Elite men’s time trial

World Champs men’s time trial course notes

Pooley and Laws talk before Worlds time trial

Pooley to use special time trial bars again

British under-23 TT riders finish out of the top 30

Daniel Martin selected for Irish under-23 worlds team

British team heads to Varese with genuine medal hopes

Cancellara to miss World Championships

Swift a close second in final race before Worlds

Rob Hayles on why he’s not riding the Worlds

GB Women’s Worlds team confirmed

British Worlds team starts to take shape

Geraint Thomas called up to Worlds team to replace Cavendish

Mark Cavendish pulls out of Worlds team

RACE REPORTS

Women’s time trial: America’s Amber Neben takes title

Under-23 time trial: report, results, photos

PHOTOS

Women’s time trial, by Graham Watson

Under-23 men’s time trial

2007 World Champs: Men’s road race

2007 World Champs: Women’s road race

2008 WORLD CHAMPS GUIDE

Preview>>

TV coverage guide>>

Brits in the men’s world road race 1998-2007>>

Brits in the women’s world road race 1998-2007>>

Brits in the under-23 world road race 1998-2007>>

Britain’s road world championships medal winners>>