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Worlds Image Gallery: Elite men on-course recon

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The German team warm up in Mendrisio.

The German team warm up in Mendrisio. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Wegmann is back on the bike and will represent Germany on Sunday.

Fabian Wegmann is back on the bike and will represent Germany on Sunday. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Alejandro Valverde (Spain) will go into the race as one of the favorites.

Alejandro Valverde (Spain) will go into the race as one of the favorites. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Spanish team ride together in Mendrisio.

The Spanish team ride together in Mendrisio. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Spanish are one of the favorites to come away with victory on Sunday.

The Spanish are one of the favorites to come away with victory on Sunday. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Samuel Sanchez (Spain)

Samuel Sanchez (Spain) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Belgium) comes past the grandstand.

Tom Boonen (Belgium) comes past the grandstand. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Frank Vandenbrouke accompanied the Belgian team on their training ride.

Frank Vandenbrouke accompanied the Belgian team on their training ride. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) looks happy to be in Mendrisio.

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) looks happy to be in Mendrisio. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Belgium's co-captains: Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen

Belgium's co-captains: Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Kazakhstan head out onto the course.

Kazakhstan head out onto the course. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen (Belgium)

Tom Boonen (Belgium) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Former World Champion Tom Boonen chats with his teammates before a training ride.

Former World Champion Tom Boonen chats with his teammates before a training ride. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Spanish fans have travelled to Switzerland to see if their men can re-claim the World title.

The Spanish fans have travelled to Switzerland to see if their men can re-claim the World title. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Damiano Cunego and Filippo Pozzato

Damiano Cunego and Filippo Pozzato (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Italian squad break into smaller groups for motorpacing.

The Italian squad break into smaller groups for motorpacing. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy Schleck (left) rides with his Luxembourg teammates.

Andy Schleck (left) rides with his Luxembourg teammates. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Italian squadra ride together in Mendrisio.

The Italian squadra ride together in Mendrisio. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Italian team set off.

The Italian team set off. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Boonen on a training ride with the Belgian squad.

Tom Boonen on a training ride with the Belgian squad. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Valverde looked to be in a jovial mood.

Valverde looked to be in a jovial mood. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Spanish teammates Samuel Sachez and Alejandro Valverde ride together.

Spanish teammates Samuel Sachez and Alejandro Valverde ride together. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Three-time winner Oscar Freire scopes the parcours.

Three-time winner Oscar Freire scopes the parcours. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Sunday will see the final rainbow jersey of the 2009 World Road Championships awarded - the elite men's title. Italy and Spain have been installed as favourites for the event, with their respective captains, Damiano Cunego and Alejandro Valverde, expected to figure prominently at the business end of the race.

As part of their final preparations for Sunday's race, both squads have been out-and-about on the Mendrisio course. Joining them on the Swiss roads are the other nations that will compete for glory in the blue riband event. Italian photographers Roberto Bettini and Fotoreporter Sirotti have been on hand to capture all the pre-race action.

Click here for an image gallery of the teams pre-Worlds preparations.

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Spanish teammates Samuel Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde ride together in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

The blue train of the Italian squad rides over the names of their Spanish rivals on the World Championship course. They'll be hoping to ride over the Spaniards on Sunday, too.

Belgian captains Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen get their eye in on the World Championship parcours.

Click here for an image gallery of the teams pre-Worlds preparations.