British Cycling has named a provisional list of 13 riders for the elite men's events, where there are nine spaces for the road race and two for the individual time trial, and 11 riders for the elite women's events, with seven spots for the road race and two for the time trial.
The 2017 Worlds take place in Bergen, Norway from September 17-24, with short punchy climbs the defining feature of the parcours.
Froome's inclusion comes a week after he hinted he might compete at the Worlds for the first time since 2014, and in the time trial for the first time since 2009. The Team Sky rider won the Tour de France in July and is currently leading the Vuelta a España. He could try to hang onto his form to ride the individual time trial for Britain as well as the team time trial for Sky.
"If I come out of the Vuelta in good shape, and I'm hoping I'm not going to be on fumes in the last week, then I'd look forward to being part of the TTT over in Norway and potentially also the [individual] time trial," he said. "I don't think the road race suits me at all, the conditions and the course, and I'd rather give that opportunity to somebody else to go for it there."
Steve Cummings could hardly be ignored after he claimed the road race and time trial double at the national championships in June, even if his relationship with British Cycling has been frosty over the years. In an interview with Cyclingnews before the Tour de France, Cummings said he felt like an 'afterthought' with the governing body, but he has a strong case both to lead the road race squad and take one of the two time trial spots.
If Froome does take one of the time trial spots, the coaches will have to decide between Cummings and Geraint Thomas, who won the opening TT at the Tour de France. There is no place on the longlist for five-time national time trial champion Alex Dowsett.
Mark Cavendish, who won the rainbow jersey in 2011 and was a close second last year, has made the longlist, and is currently riding the Tour of Britain in his first race since crashing out of the Tour de France in July. Along with Froome and Thomas, Owain Doull, Jon Dibben, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Peter Kennaugh, and Ian Stannard make it seven Team Sky riders on the 13-rider list. Also in the frame are Adam Blythe, who was the 2016 national champion, Ben Swift, who has twice finished on the podium at Milan-San Remo, Scott Thwaites, who impressed at this year's spring classics, and Mark Christian, who's currently riding his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta.
On the women’s side, 2015 world champion and current national champion Lizzie Deignan is included on the 11-rider longlist, despite recently undergoing appendix-removal surgery.
The 28-year-old, who has been in fine form of late, said she is "taking the rest of the season day by day" after the operation at the end of August, and this week will be key in assessing whether Great Britain will be without its leading light.
Also on the longlist is Olympic track champion Elinor Barker, along with sisters Hannah and Alice Barnes, who won the elite and under-23 road race titles respectively at last year's nationals. National time trial champion Claire Rose is likely to pick up one of the two spots for the ITT, along with Hayley Simmonds, champion in the two precious nationals.
Absent from the longlist is Katie Archibald, who finished on the podium in both the road race and time trial at this year's nationals, but who has been competing on the track this week.
"We have named what I believe to be a very strong and talented longlist of riders from which we will select the final teams for this year's road race and time trial world championships," said head coach Iain Dyer.
"The nature of the road race course, which includes a 1.4km climb before the flat finish, is likely to make the racing tactical, so I'm pleased to see we have the depth within the squads to give us options depending on how the racing plays out. The time trial event is hilly with a final steep climb to the finish which plays to the strengths of the time trial specialists we have included in the squad.
"We still have some important races on the road competition calendar to come before the world championships, so we will be monitoring these closely and will be in a position to finalise and announce the confirmed line-up for the road race and time trial events for each category in due course."
Great Britain Cycling Team longlist for the UCI Road World Championships 2017:
Elite Men: Adam Blythe, Mark Cavendish, Mark Christian, Steve Cummings, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Chris Froome, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pete Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Scott Thwaites, Geraint Thomas.
Elite Women: Elinor Barker, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Anna Christian, Lizzie Deignan, Dani King, Mel Lowther, Abby Mae Parkinson, Claire Rose, Hayley Simmonds, Abigain van Twisk.
Under-23 Men: Matt Bostock, Scott Davies, Ethan Hayter, Jacob Hennessy, James Knox, Chris Lawless, James Shaw, Mark Stewart, Ollie Wood.
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