The UCI Road World Championships head to the Middle East in October as Peter Sagan and Lizzie Deignan look to defend their road race titles

The world’s best sprinters and time triallists will descend on Doha, Qatar, between October 9-16 for the 2016 UCI Road World Championships – the first to be held in the Middle East.

The virtually pan flat road race courses will provide a good opportunity for the fast men to contest a sprint finish for the first time since Mark Cavendish won in 2011, and the Manxman is again the favourite to win the men’s race.

Lizzie Deignan will face a tough challenge to defend the title she won in Richmond last year on a course that doesn’t entirely suit her skill-set, with the women’s race almost entirely contested on the downtown finishing circuit in Doha.

Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara will not be targetting a fourth time trial world title in his final season, writing off the Doha championships. The flat course on the Pearl Qatar island could suit the likes of Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands), Tony Martin (Germany) and Rohan Dennis (Australia) taking excellent form into the event.

Hannah Barnes and Hayley Simmonds will compete for Great Britain in the women’s time trial, while Alex Dowsett looks set to race the men’s event alongside one of Geraint Thomas and Steve Cummings.