British Cycling has announced its squad for the senior and under-23 world road race championships in Austria, September 20-24, 2006. The team includes David Millar, back in a representative team for the first time since the end of his two-year ban for doping offences.
Millar will ride both the road race and the time trial. He is joined in the men's road race by Russell Downing and Roger Hammond, both fresh from recent high-profile road victories and strong showings at the Tour of Britain.
A superb win in the Overijse race in Belgium a fortnight ago led to DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed's Russell Downing securing a place in the three-man team.
Downing finished ninth in the Tour of Britain and wore green points jersey for three days. "I'm very happy to be picked," said the DFL team captain, "it's a nice reward for a good season, both for me and the team, and another opportunity to impress. I think David, Roger and I will work well together to put us in the position to achieve something for Great Britain on the day"
David Brailsford, performance director of the GB cycling team was clear about why Downing is the man for the job, "Going on current form, especially after the win in Belgium and such a good showing against big-name riders in the Tour of Britain, the selection panel for the world championships decided that Russell needed to be in the line-up for the road race. It's hard on Hamish [Haynes, who narrowly missed selection - Ed.] for sure but Russ is coming into top shape and exactly the right time… it was a very close and difficult decision."
The women's team is headed by Nicole Cooke, newly crowned World Cup series winner, who will ride both the road race and the time trial.
The under-23 men's team includes newly signed T-Mobile pro Mark Cavendish, another rider fresh from a successful Tour of Britain.
GB world's squad
Men's Road Race: Russell Downing, Roger Hammond and David Millar.
Men's Time Trial: David Millar.
Women's Road Race: Nicole Cooke, Rachel Heal, Tanya Slater and Helen Wyman.
Women's Time Trial: Nicole Cooke.
Under-23 Men's Road Race: Mark Cavendish, Ben Greenwood, Ian Stannard, Andy Tennant and Geraint Thomas.
Under-23 Men's Time Trial: Ian Stannard.