David Millar looks set to lead the Great Britain team in the road race at the World Championships as Bradley Wiggins confirmed he would only be riding the time trial.
Millar and Wiggins are team-mates at Garmin-Slipstream and were both on the long list for the nine-man team for the road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland, on September 27.
But Wiggins today confirmed he would be concentrating on the time trial.
At a pre-Tour of Britain get-together in Southampton organised by Gamin he said: “There’s nine riders for the Worlds and I don’t want to take a spot from another rider who can do a job for the team.”
And, hinting that Millar would be the Great Britain team leader, Wiggins said: “I’ve asked Dave and he says he can do without me.”
Millar is currently riding the Vuelta a Espana as preparation for the Worlds.
And CW understands that other nations believe Millar is considered one of the favourites. Spaniard Oscar Freire told CW that his role in their World Championship team would be to follow Millar wherever he goes.
Millar looks set to lead the team in the road race a few days after Wiggins aims for a medal in the time trial, but the rest of the nine-man road race squad will be confirmed towards the end of the Tour of Britain.
Mark Cavendish pulled out of the Tour of Missouri yesterday with a respiratory infection, but it’s too early to say whether he will be fit for the Worlds. Great Britain coach Rod Ellingworth said Cavendish would do everything to be part of the team. “If Cavendish is healthy and says he’s fit for the race, he’ll be selected. This is the guy who scored 70 per cent of the points [to qualify nine places]. Secondly he could win the Worlds in future so he needs to be part of the group. And he brings a lot of his presence to the team even if he’s not 100 per cent fit. But he can do a job for the team, even if he climbs off after 120k.”
The two places for the men’s elite time trial will be taken by Wiggins and Barloworld’s Chris Froome.
Ellingworth said: “The second place goes to Chris. It’s a great opportunity for him. Steve [Cummings] said he didn’t want to concentrate on the time trial this year. Geraint [Thomas] hasn’t had enough racing to be considered for the time trial, and Ian [Stannard] is in a similar position really. So it’s a great chance for Froomey to see what he can do and learn something very valuable for the future.”