USA team: Cavendish's rival Farrar takes eight to Worlds

Tyler Farrar wins, Vuelta a Espana 2010, stage 21

Sprinters Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar locked horns over the last three weeks at the Vuelta a España, with Britain's Cavendish getting the upper hand: 3 - 2.

Farrar wants to even the score at the World Championships on October 3 in Geelong, Australia, and overnight he received notice of the eight-man team that the USA will send to help him:

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions)

Jason McCartney (RadioShack)

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions)

Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions)

Tejay Van Garderen (HTC Columbia)

Craig Lewis (HTC Columbia)

Ted King (Cervélo Test Team)

Tom Peterson (Garmin-Transitions)

Farrar's Garmin team-mates, Zabriskie and Vande Velde will be essential road captains in Australia. The race starts in Melbourne and then completes 11 15.9-kilometre circuits in Geelong. The sprinters' chances may be thwarted the two hills on the circuit, which is where Zabriskie and Vande Velde will be able to help organise USA's efforts with rival sprint teams.

Cavendish has the support of only two team-mates, David Millar and Jeremy Hunt, due to selection rules based on national rankings. Millar races the Garmin trade team throughout the year and may use his connections to form a temporary alliance with Team USA to benefit both Cavendish and Farrar.

Farrar has the benefit of six extra team-mates, but lacks one with lead-out experience to guide him into the final metres along Geelong's Moorabool Street. USA Cycling has left out both Chris Horner and George Hincapie, they finished fourth and fifth in the USA Championships on Sunday, and Hincapie led out Cavendish to six of his Tour de France stage wins last year.

"Of course, I would love to have Lance [Armstrong], George [Hincapie] and Levi [Leipheimer] on the team, but they all have their own programme and the Worlds are difficult, it comes later in the season," USA's sports director, Mike Sayers said last month.

"It is problematic. George would be ideal, but he said that he was not going to be able to do it."

Farrar may suffer from USA's reluctance to field its best team, but a high placing this year may help the team fine-tune ahead of next year. Next year's edition in Copenhagen is even more sprinter friendly and offers Farrar his best chance to win, to take the first rainbow jersey in the men's race since Armstrong won in Oslo in 1993.

Zabriskie and Van Garderen will also race the time trial on 30 September.

Elite Women

Shelley Olds (Los Gatos, Calif./Peanut Butter & CO TWENTY 12) - road race

Evelyn Stevens (New York, N.Y./Columbia-HTC) - road race and time trial

Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif./unattached) - road race and time trial

Amanda Miller (Fort Collins, Colo./Team TIBCO) - road race

Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) - road race

Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light) - road race

Katheryn Mattis (Mountain View, Calif./Webcor) - road race

U23 Men

Benjamin King (North Garden, Va./Trek-Livestrong) - road race and time trial

Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo./Trek-Livestrong) - road race and time trial

Andrew Talansky (Napa, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms) - road race and time trial

Alex Howes (Boulder, Colo./Felt-Holowesko) - road race

Chris Butler (Hilton Head, S.C./BMC) - road race

Carter Jones (Boulder, Colo./Jelly Belly) - road race

Related links

World Champs fall-out over Landis conference invite Floods hit Worlds road race course

Gerrans training for Worlds after Sky's Vuelta exit

Contador skips Worlds and ends season early

Millar takes Thomas's place at road Worlds

Thomas withdraws from Britain's Worlds team

Pozzato and Nibali head Italian Worlds squad

British World Championship team named

Three spots for Great Britain at Worlds road race

USA selects team for Farrar to rival Cavendish at Worlds

Australian Worlds team selection upset

Cavendish challenged to win Worlds rainbow jersey

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.