The long list of riders selected to represent Great Britain at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, over October 9-16 has been released by British Cycling.
There are no major surprises in the selections for both the men’s and women’s elite road races, with teams built for the flat and fast course that is widely tipped to favour sprinters.
Mark Cavendish will spearhead GB’s hopes for the men’s road race, as the Manxman hopes to repeat his win from 2011. If anything, the squad around him is stronger than it was in 2011 with Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Luke Rowe, Adam Blythe, Dan McLay and Scott Thwaites on the list.
Of the nine named men, eight will make the final selection. Two of the riders will also contest the individual time trial, although British Cycling has said that the selection has not yet been made. Dowsett’s top 10 place in Tuesday’s Eneco Tour time trial mark him out as a likely candidate for one of the places.
The only omission that may raise questions is Tour de France champion Chris Froome: the flat course does not suit him, particularly at the end of a long season.
“The depth of talent available to us on the road this year has been exceptional and I believe we have picked strong squads for all the races we are entering,” said Iain Dyer, BC’s head coach.
“Mark [Cavendish] heads to Doha as one of the clear favourites given the nature of the course and he will have a strong team around him.”
Lizzie Deignan (née Armitstead) goes into the women’s road race as defending champion and one of the leading favourites. Deignan is also surrounded by a strong team, comprising British national champion Hannah Barnes, Alice Barnes, Dani King, Laura Massey, Annasley Park, Abby-Mae Parkinson and Eileen Roe.
Dani King, and sisters Alice and Hannah Barnes will provide other options for the road race win.
Hannah Barnes and Hayley Simmonds have been selected for the women’s time trial. Simmonds has enjoyed a stunning year on the domestic time trial circuit, having smashed the 10-mile time trial record last weekend with a time of 18-36 to become the first British woman to ride under 19 minutes for the distance.
“In the women’s squad, we’ve got some real high-calibre contenders with a couple of riders having the capability to be competitive in a sprint finish scenario,” said Dyer.
“I’m really pleased to see a number of under-23 category riders selected for this squad too, I think they will benefit from the experience of riding alongside elite riders.”
In addition to the elite men’s and women’s races, the under-23 men’s category also gets a GB team that has strength in depth. Gabriel Cullaigh, Scott Davies, Jon Dibben, Chris Latham, Tao Geoghegan Hart and James Shaw have all booked their place to Doha.
All six under-23 riders have already experienced racing at the top level this season, and could feature in the road race’s finale. Two of the six will also be selected for the U23 time trial. The selection will be announced shortly.
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Great Britain team for the 2016 UCI Road World Championships
Elite men road race (nine will race)
Elite men time trial
To be selected from the above (two places qualified)
Elite women road race
Elite women’s time trial
Under-23 men road race
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Under-23 men time trial
To be selected from the above