Robbie McEwen and Allan Davis are among the members of the Australian national road team which will compete in the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday in Varese, Italy.
McEwen predicted a long, tough race, something to survive, in order to make the final sprint.
"The course here in Varese is very tough and obviously over 260km any course is going to be tough but this one has a short sharp climb of one kilometre plus another one of just over three kilometres and I think it will really turn into a race of attrition. As a team I think we'll really have to be a little opportunistic," said McEwen.
"Guys like myself and Allan Davis, who are sprinters, are really going to have to try and survive the race and that means surviving the relentless attacks of the Italians trying to split things up."
Fortunately, the team from Down Under will be able to rely on more than just its sprinters. "If we happen to not be able to follow the pace on the climbs then we still have Michael Rogers who did a great ride at the Olympic Games and maybe even Matt Lloyd who is coming back from a small injury but I think he could also possibly be up there in the final part of the race," said McEwen.
Davis is heading into the race feeling good. "It's a pretty good time form-wise for me. The last two months have I've been quite consistent and very happy with it. The last two times I did Tour of Poland before worlds I had my best worlds 12th (2003) and fifth (2004) the last time here in Italy. We've got a good team and a lot of options to play," said Davis. "[It's] good to have not just one plan probably three or four. I hope we can be competitive tomorrow."
Davis pointed to Paolo Bettini and the rest of the Italian team as the squad to watch. "They'll have a controlling role in the race which they always do and pretty much all the other nations play off them and see what they do and then make our mind up. I expect tomorrow will be the same dominant role from them."
"I think we've got the firepower to match it when it comes down to the crunch time so that's pretty much how it will be and hopefully when it splits and at the time race is made we're there with numbers," said Davis.