David de la Cruz (Quick-Step Floors), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Daniel Moreno (Movistar) headline the 15-man pre-selection named by Spanish national coach Javier Minguez for the World Championships in Bergen, Norway later this month.
The Spanish team will be without six-time Worlds medallist Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who fractured his kneecap in a crash on the opening stage of the Tour de France, and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), who will bring the curtain down on his professional career on Sunday's final stage of the Vuelta a España.
There are no fewer than eight Movistar riders in the pre-selection, with Moreno joined by Jonathan Castroviejo, Carlos Barbero, Imanol Erviti, Jesús Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, José Joaquín Rojas and Marc Soler.
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA has three riders in the pre-selection in the form of Lluis Mas, Diego Rubio and Héctor Sáez. The roster is completed by Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) and Juanjo Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo), who sprinted to a stage win at last month's Tour de l'Ain. There is no place for Mikel Landa (Sky), who is expected to ride Il Lombardia the following week.
Minguez will select a final team of nine riders from the 15-man longlist.
Spain enjoyed a flurry of success at the Worlds in the decade after Abraham Olano became the first Spanish world road race champion in 1995, with Oscar Freire claiming a hat-trick of titles and Igor Astarloa winning in Hamilton in 2003. Freire's third title in Verona in 2004 remains Spain's last rainbow jersey, however, and Minguez acknowledged that his team did not have a favourite in its ranks this time around.
"We don't have a sprinter who is a clear favourite to win in a big bunch finish,” Minguez said as he announced the selection at Los Machucos on the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday. "The final selection will depend on the physical condition of the riders coming out of the Vuelta, the Tour of Britain and the races in Canada."
Castroviejo, De la Cruz, Gorka Izagirre and Jesus Herrada have been shortlisted for the individual time trial. After claiming a bronze medal in Doha a year ago, Castroviejo is a certainty to take one of Spain's two berths. The Movistar man was European champion in the discipline last year and fourth in the Olympic Games. He claimed his third Spanish time trial title this season.
"He's the rider with the best pedigree in the time trial," Minguez said. "It's a difficult time trial this year with a tough climb in it, but he's very motivated for it and he's in good physical condition and he's building form at the Tour of Britain.”
The World Championships get underway in Bergen, Norway on September 17. The elite men's time trial takes place on September 20, with the elite men's road race on September 24.
Spain pre-selection for the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway: Carlos Barbero (Movistar), Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Jesús Herrada (Movistar), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar), Daniel Moreno (Movistar), José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), Marc Soler (Movistar), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Héctor Sáez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Luis León Sánchez (Astana), David de la Cruz (Quick-Step Floors), Juan José Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Luis Ángel Maté (Cofidis).