Great Britain set for just three places in men's World Championship road race

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Great Britain looks set to qualify for just three places in the men's elite road race in Melbourne later this year.

Mark Cavendish of HTC-Columbia is set to be the team leader for the race on Sunday, October 3.

And he will have the backing of just two British team-mates - unless there's a remarkable change in the world and Europe Tour rankings before the qualification deadline on August 15.

Last week, CW reported that Great Britain could get six places but it seems very unlikely.

The top ten nations in the UCI world ranking are each allocated nine places in the men's road race. Nations ranked lower than that get three places. Great Britain are currently 14th on 255 points - 88 points adrift of 10th-placed Germany. The only World Ranking events left before the qualification deadline are the Tour of Poland and Vattenfalls Cyclassics in Germany.

In the Europe Tour, Britain are ranked 21st. The top nations in the Europe Tour can have six riders in the race.

So, as it stands, Great Britain will be able to nominate five riders, with three starting the race. And it's very unlikely the situation will change by August 15.

One man who won't be there is Bradley Wiggins, who has said he is not riding the World Championships this year.

Last year Great Britain qualified for nine places for the road race in Mendrisio - mainly because of Mark Cavendish's Milan-San Remo, Giro d'Italia and Tour de France wins and Wiggins's fourth place overall in the Tour.

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