By Ben Atkins, UK Editor
British national road and time trial champion David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir) will lead the Great Britain team on both fronts at the World Road Championships in Stuttgart this month. Millar will be joined in the race against the clock by Olympic and World Pursuit Champion Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) who has a point to prove after being forced to miss the Tour de France's final time trial after the withdrawal of his team due to the positive doping test returned by Christian Moreni.
As stated in an interview with Cyclingnews last month, Millar believes he has what it takes to do well in the road race as well as the time trial. Assisting in the Scot's bid to swap his newly acquired red, white and blue stripes for rainbow ones, will be T-Mobile pair Roger Hammond and Mark Cavendish. Both riders are coming to the race off the back of strong performances in the Tour of Britain - Cavendish picking up the prologue, one stage and the points jersey.
The obvious name missing from the women's team is national champion and last year's bronze medallist Nicole Cooke (Raleigh-Lifeforce-Creation). As reported this week, Cooke has been forced to cut her season short due to the knee injury that prevented her from contesting the sprint at last weekend's Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt. The injury requires surgery and means a premature end to the Welsh woman's season, and also denies the women's race of one of its outstanding favourites.
In Cooke's absence, Team GB are still able to field a strong squad, led by national silver and bronze medallists Rachel Heal (Webcor Builders) and Helen Wyman (Global RT). Specialized Designs for Women rider Emma Pooley could be a dark horse for a medal on a testing course after several good results this season. The road race team of six will be completed by Cooke's Raleigh teammate Tanja Slater, Rapha-Condor rider Catherine Hare, and Wyman's Global RT teammate Lizzie Armitstead. In the time trial, Emma Pooley will join national champion Wendy Houvenhagel (Science-in-Sport).
In the men's under-23 race, Team GB's one road race qualification place will be taken by Barloworld stagiaire Ben Swift, while T-Mobile stagiaire Ian Stannard will look to use his pursuiting abilities in the time trial. Like Hammond and Cavendish, both under-23 riders are coming off good performances in their home tour where Swift took the mountains jersey.