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Gallery: Four decades of road Worlds

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2001 Worlds: Don't worry Paolo Bettini...your chance will come to win rainbow stripes

2001 Worlds: Don't worry Paolo Bettini...your chance will come to win rainbow stripes
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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2006 Worlds: Michael Boogerd (Netherlands) and Fred Rodriguez (USA) in action in Salzburg, Austria

2006 Worlds: Michael Boogerd (Netherlands) and Fred Rodriguez (USA) in action in Salzburg, Austria
(Image credit: AFP)
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1984 Worlds: Italy's team car in action during the men's road race

1984 Worlds: Italy's team car in action during the men's road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: The pro men's peloton stretched out in Barcelona, Spain

1984 Worlds: The pro men's peloton stretched out in Barcelona, Spain
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1983 Worlds: Phil Anderson (Australia) forces the pace in Altenrhein, Switzerland

1983 Worlds: Phil Anderson (Australia) forces the pace in Altenrhein, Switzerland
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1983 Worlds: Moreno Argentin (Italy), Gilbert Glauss (Switzerland) and Francesco Moser (Italy) roll along in the pro road race in Altenrhein, Switzerland

1983 Worlds: Moreno Argentin (Italy), Gilbert Glauss (Switzerland) and Francesco Moser (Italy) roll along in the pro road race in Altenrhein, Switzerland
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1983 Worlds: Ireland's Sean Kelly on the front of the peloton in a race eventually won by Greg LeMond (USA)

1983 Worlds: Ireland's Sean Kelly on the front of the peloton in a race eventually won by Greg LeMond (USA)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1982 Worlds: It would be two more years before Claude Criquielion (Belgium) would win a world championship. Here he's in action in Goodwood, England where Giuseppe Saronni (Italy) would win the only world title of his career

1982 Worlds: It would be two more years before Claude Criquielion (Belgium) would win a world championship. Here he's in action in Goodwood, England where Giuseppe Saronni (Italy) would win the only world title of his career
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1968 Worlds: Vittori Adorni (Italy), the 1965 Giro champion, attacked with 93km to go and won the rainbow jersey by an unfathomable 10 minutes on a car circuit in Imola, Italy.

1968 Worlds: Vittori Adorni (Italy), the 1965 Giro champion, attacked with 93km to go and won the rainbow jersey by an unfathomable 10 minutes on a car circuit in Imola, Italy.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1968 Worlds: Cycling legends Eddy Merckx (Belgium) and Felice Gimondi (Italy) in action in Imola, Italy

1968 Worlds: Cycling legends Eddy Merckx (Belgium) and Felice Gimondi (Italy) in action in Imola, Italy
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Dag Otto Lauritzen (Norway) leads defending champion Greg LeMond (USA)

1984 Worlds: Dag Otto Lauritzen (Norway) leads defending champion Greg LeMond (USA)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Defending champion Greg LeMond (USA) on the wheel of Belgium's Rudy Dhaenens

1984 Worlds: Defending champion Greg LeMond (USA) on the wheel of Belgium's Rudy Dhaenens
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Phil Anderson (Australia) front and center, flanked by Matt Eaton (USA). Eventual bronze medalist Steve Bauer (Canada) and defending champion Greg LeMond (USA) in background

1984 Worlds: Phil Anderson (Australia) front and center, flanked by Matt Eaton (USA). Eventual bronze medalist Steve Bauer (Canada) and defending champion Greg LeMond (USA) in background
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Italy's Moreno Argentin in action. From 1985 through 1987 he would complete the cycle of gold, silver and bronze at the world championships

1984 Worlds: Italy's Moreno Argentin in action. From 1985 through 1987 he would complete the cycle of gold, silver and bronze at the world championships
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Steve Bauer (Canada) alongside Italy's Silvano Contini and Francesco Moser

1984 Worlds: Steve Bauer (Canada) alongside Italy's Silvano Contini and Francesco Moser
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Steve Bauer (Canada) had quite a year in 1984 by winning silver at the Olympic road race in Los Angeles then turning pro one month later to take bronze at Worlds in Barcelona, Spain - his first professional road race

1984 Worlds: Steve Bauer (Canada) had quite a year in 1984 by winning silver at the Olympic road race in Los Angeles then turning pro one month later to take bronze at Worlds in Barcelona, Spain - his first professional road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: USA teammates Jonathan Boyer and John Eustice lead Bernard HInault (France)

1984 Worlds: USA teammates Jonathan Boyer and John Eustice lead Bernard HInault (France)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Francesco Moser (Italy) in action in Barcelona, Spain

1984 Worlds: Francesco Moser (Italy) in action in Barcelona, Spain
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Claudio Corti (Italy) en route to a silver medal in Barcelona, Spain

1984 Worlds: Claudio Corti (Italy) en route to a silver medal in Barcelona, Spain
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Claude Criquielion (Belgium) would win gold in Barcelona, Spain

1984 Worlds: Claude Criquielion (Belgium) would win gold in Barcelona, Spain
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Defending champion Greg LeMond (USA) previews the Barcelona, Spain circuit with teammates including Doug Shapiro, left, and Matt Eaton, left of LeMond.

1984 Worlds: Defending champion Greg LeMond (USA) previews the Barcelona, Spain circuit with teammates including Doug Shapiro, left, and Matt Eaton, left of LeMond.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1984 Worlds: Powerhouse Italian Moreno Argentin, left, pre-rides the circuit in Barcelona, Spain

1984 Worlds: Powerhouse Italian Moreno Argentin, left, pre-rides the circuit in Barcelona, Spain
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1993 Worlds: 21-year-old Lance Armstrong (USA) became one of the youngest pro road race word champions in Oslo, Norway. He's joined on the podium by Miguel Indurain (Spain) and Olaf Ludwig (Germany)

1993 Worlds: 21-year-old Lance Armstrong (USA) became one of the youngest pro road race word champions in Oslo, Norway. He's joined on the podium by Miguel Indurain (Spain) and Olaf Ludwig (Germany)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: 1983 world champion Greg LeMond would add a second pro rainbow jersey to his collection later in the day in Chambéry, France to go along with his stunning Tour de France victory earlier that summer

1989 Worlds: 1983 world champion Greg LeMond would add a second pro rainbow jersey to his collection later in the day in Chambéry, France to go along with his stunning Tour de France victory earlier that summer
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: The pro men's peloton lines up in Chambéry, France for the world championship road race

1989 Worlds: The pro men's peloton lines up in Chambéry, France for the world championship road race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: Franco Ballerini (Italy) sets tempo in the pro men's championship race in Chambéry, France

1989 Worlds: Franco Ballerini (Italy) sets tempo in the pro men's championship race in Chambéry, France
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1988 Worlds: Who would have guessed that Maurizio Fondriest (Italy) would be crowned world champion several hours later in Ronse, Belgium?

1988 Worlds: Who would have guessed that Maurizio Fondriest (Italy) would be crowned world champion several hours later in Ronse, Belgium?
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1987 Worlds: Pedro Delgado (Spain) awaits the start of the pro men's road race in Villach, Austria. Stephen Roche (Ireland) would win the rainbow jersey to complete a legendary Triple Crown that year

1987 Worlds: Pedro Delgado (Spain) awaits the start of the pro men's road race in Villach, Austria. Stephen Roche (Ireland) would win the rainbow jersey to complete a legendary Triple Crown that year
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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2003 Worlds: Alejandro Valverde completes a 1-2 finish for Spain by winning the sprint for second ahead of Peter Van Petegem (Belgium) moments after compatriot Igor Astarloa soloed to victory in Hamilton, Ontario.

2003 Worlds: Alejandro Valverde completes a 1-2 finish for Spain by winning the sprint for second ahead of Peter Van Petegem (Belgium) moments after compatriot Igor Astarloa soloed to victory in Hamilton, Ontario.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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2004 Worlds: Luca Paolini (Italy) en route to a bronze medal in Verona, Italy. The 2013 Worlds in Florence will be the final world championship for the Italian.

2004 Worlds: Luca Paolini (Italy) en route to a bronze medal in Verona, Italy. The 2013 Worlds in Florence will be the final world championship for the Italian.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: One of the all-time great world championships saw Greg LeMond (USA) win his second pro world title ahead of Dmitri Konyshev (Russia) and Sean Kelly (Ireland) in the rain in Chambéry, France

1989 Worlds: One of the all-time great world championships saw Greg LeMond (USA) win his second pro world title ahead of Dmitri Konyshev (Russia) and Sean Kelly (Ireland) in the rain in Chambéry, France
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: Fred Mengoni and Andy Hampsten (USA) prior to the start of the men's pro race in Chambéry, France

1989 Worlds: Fred Mengoni and Andy Hampsten (USA) prior to the start of the men's pro race in Chambéry, France
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: One of the day's protagonists, Laurent Fignon (France), rolls to the start in Chambéry, France

1989 Worlds: One of the day's protagonists, Laurent Fignon (France), rolls to the start in Chambéry, France
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1989 Worlds: Claudio Chiapucci (Italy) awaits the start in Chambéry, France

1989 Worlds: Claudio Chiapucci (Italy) awaits the start in Chambéry, France
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1992 Worlds: Defending champion Gianni Bugno (Italy) awaits the start along with 1987 champion Stephen Roche (Italy) and Claudio Chiapucci (Italy)

1992 Worlds: Defending champion Gianni Bugno (Italy) awaits the start along with 1987 champion Stephen Roche (Italy) and Claudio Chiapucci (Italy)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1992 Worlds: The pro men's podium included (L-R) Laurent Jalabert (France), Gianni Bugno (Italy) and Dmitri Konyshev (Russia)

1992 Worlds: The pro men's podium included (L-R) Laurent Jalabert (France), Gianni Bugno (Italy) and Dmitri Konyshev (Russia)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1992 Worlds: Gianni Bugno (Italy) makes his way to the podium after winning his second straight world championship in Benidorm, Spain

1992 Worlds: Gianni Bugno (Italy) makes his way to the podium after winning his second straight world championship in Benidorm, Spain
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1994 Worlds: Luc Leblance (France) soloed to victory in Sicily in the city of Agrigento

1994 Worlds: Luc Leblance (France) soloed to victory in Sicily in the city of Agrigento
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1995 Worlds: The world championships moved later in the season for the first time and the road race podium in Duitama, Colombia consisted of (L-R) Miguel Indurain (Spain), Abraham Olano (Spain) and Marco Pantani (Italy)

1995 Worlds: The world championships moved later in the season for the first time and the road race podium in Duitama, Colombia consisted of (L-R) Miguel Indurain (Spain), Abraham Olano (Spain) and Marco Pantani (Italy)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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1998 Worlds: Oscar Camenzind (Switzerlands) soloed to victory on a cold, wet day in the Netherlands

1998 Worlds: Oscar Camenzind (Switzerlands) soloed to victory on a cold, wet day in the Netherlands
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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2002 Worlds: Mario Cipollini (Italy) won his world title in Zolder, Belgium while teammates celebrate in the background

2002 Worlds: Mario Cipollini (Italy) won his world title in Zolder, Belgium while teammates celebrate in the background
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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2004 Worlds: Oscar Freire (Spain) is now a three-time world champion

2004 Worlds: Oscar Freire (Spain) is now a three-time world champion
(Image credit: AFP)
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2004 Worlds: He did it again...Oscar Freire (Spain) wins the rainbow jersey for the third time in his career

2004 Worlds: He did it again...Oscar Freire (Spain) wins the rainbow jersey for the third time in his career
(Image credit: AFP)
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2004 Worlds: Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) celebrates victory in the junior men's world championship road race in Verona, Italy

2004 Worlds: Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) celebrates victory in the junior men's world championship road race in Verona, Italy
(Image credit: AFP)
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2004 Worlds: Alexandre Vinokourov leads the Kazakhstan team on a training ride in Vernon, Italy

2004 Worlds: Alexandre Vinokourov leads the Kazakhstan team on a training ride in Vernon, Italy
(Image credit: AFP)
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2004 Worlds: The junior men's time trial podium had some stars of the future (L-R) Thomas Dekker (Netherlands), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) and Vinzenzo Nibali (Italy)

2004 Worlds: The junior men's time trial podium had some stars of the future (L-R) Thomas Dekker (Netherlands), Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) and Vinzenzo Nibali (Italy)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2002 Worlds: My kingdom for a functioning front wheel. Defending champion Oscar Freire (Spain) had a mechanical inside the final two kilometres and was unable to contest the sprint finale.

2002 Worlds: My kingdom for a functioning front wheel. Defending champion Oscar Freire (Spain) had a mechanical inside the final two kilometres and was unable to contest the sprint finale.
(Image credit: AFP)
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2002 Worlds: The elite men's podium (L-R) of Robbie McEwen (Australia), Mario Cipollini (Italy) and Erik Zabel (Germany)

2002 Worlds: The elite men's podium (L-R) of Robbie McEwen (Australia), Mario Cipollini (Italy) and Erik Zabel (Germany)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2002 Worlds: Was there any doubt that Mario Cipollini (Italy) would prevail on the very sprinter-friendly parcours in Zolder, Belgium?

2002 Worlds: Was there any doubt that Mario Cipollini (Italy) would prevail on the very sprinter-friendly parcours in Zolder, Belgium?
(Image credit: AFP)
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2002 Worlds: The one-and-only Mario Cipollini puts in some pre-race training time at Zolder, Belgium resplendent in the one-and-only kit of his trade team Acqua & Sapone

2002 Worlds: The one-and-only Mario Cipollini puts in some pre-race training time at Zolder, Belgium resplendent in the one-and-only kit of his trade team Acqua & Sapone
(Image credit: AFP)
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2001 Worlds: The thrill of victory for Oscar Freire (Spain) and the agony of defeat for silver medalist Paolo Bettini (Italy)

2001 Worlds: The thrill of victory for Oscar Freire (Spain) and the agony of defeat for silver medalist Paolo Bettini (Italy)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2001 Worlds: The elite men's peloton on the start line in Lisbon, Portugal

2001 Worlds: The elite men's peloton on the start line in Lisbon, Portugal
(Image credit: AFP)
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2001 Worlds: France's Laurent Brochard is ready to rock in Lisbon, Portugal

2001 Worlds: France's Laurent Brochard is ready to rock in Lisbon, Portugal
(Image credit: AFP)
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2001 Worlds: Jan Ullrich (German) awaits the start of the men's road race in Lisbon, Portugal

2001 Worlds: Jan Ullrich (German) awaits the start of the men's road race in Lisbon, Portugal
(Image credit: AFP)
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2000 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) of Zbigniew Spruch (Poland), Romans Vainsteins (Latvia) and Oscar Freire (Spain)

2000 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) of Zbigniew Spruch (Poland), Romans Vainsteins (Latvia) and Oscar Freire (Spain)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2000 Worlds: Romans Vainsteins (Latvia) wins the world title ahead of Zbigniew Spruch (Poland) and Oscar Freire (Spain)

2000 Worlds: Romans Vainsteins (Latvia) wins the world title ahead of Zbigniew Spruch (Poland) and Oscar Freire (Spain)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2000 Worlds: Christophe Moreau (France) on the attack during the Plouay, France-hosted world championship

2000 Worlds: Christophe Moreau (France) on the attack during the Plouay, France-hosted world championship
(Image credit: AFP)
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1998 Worlds: Eventual world champion Oscar Camenzind (Switzerland) at the head of an elite selection containing Michael Boogerd, Lance Armstrong, Peter Van Petegem and Michele Bartoli

1998 Worlds: Eventual world champion Oscar Camenzind (Switzerland) at the head of an elite selection containing Michael Boogerd, Lance Armstrong, Peter Van Petegem and Michele Bartoli
(Image credit: AFP)
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2005 Worlds: Erik Zabel (Germany) and Alessandro Petacchi (Italy) in Madrid, Spain for the world championships

2005 Worlds: Erik Zabel (Germany) and Alessandro Petacchi (Italy) in Madrid, Spain for the world championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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2005 Worlds: Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain) snaps a photo during a training session on the road circuit in Madrid, Spain

2005 Worlds: Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain) snaps a photo during a training session on the road circuit in Madrid, Spain
(Image credit: AFP)
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2006 Worlds: If you can't finish on the podium you can at least wow them with style as Brazil's Luciano Pagliarini displays during the men's race in Salzburg, Austria

2006 Worlds: If you can't finish on the podium you can at least wow them with style as Brazil's Luciano Pagliarini displays during the men's race in Salzburg, Austria
(Image credit: AFP)
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2006 Worlds: Alejandro Valverde (Spain) nudges into the Paolo Bettini party to congratulate the new world champion

2006 Worlds: Alejandro Valverde (Spain) nudges into the Paolo Bettini party to congratulate the new world champion
(Image credit: AFP)
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2006 Worlds: Elite men's podium of (L-R) Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Paolo Bettini (Italy) and Erik Zabel (Germany)

2006 Worlds: Elite men's podium of (L-R) Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Paolo Bettini (Italy) and Erik Zabel (Germany)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2006 Worlds: You think Paolo Bettini (Italy) is pleased with his world championship victory?

2006 Worlds: You think Paolo Bettini (Italy) is pleased with his world championship victory?
(Image credit: AFP)
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2006 Worlds: Gerald Ciolek (Germany) signalled what was to come with a victory in the U23 road race in Salzburg, Austria

2006 Worlds: Gerald Ciolek (Germany) signalled what was to come with a victory in the U23 road race in Salzburg, Austria
(Image credit: AFP)
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2006 Worlds: How sweet it is as Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) wins the first time trial world championship of his career in Salzburg, Austria

2006 Worlds: How sweet it is as Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) wins the first time trial world championship of his career in Salzburg, Austria
(Image credit: AFP)
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2007 Worlds: A none-too-subtle Paolo Bettini (Italy) takes aim at his critics as he wins his second straight road world championship in Stuttgart, Germany

2007 Worlds: A none-too-subtle Paolo Bettini (Italy) takes aim at his critics as he wins his second straight road world championship in Stuttgart, Germany
(Image credit: AFP)
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2007 Worlds: Paolo Bettini (Italy) wins the world championship in Stuttgart, Germany, for back-to-back world titles

2007 Worlds: Paolo Bettini (Italy) wins the world championship in Stuttgart, Germany, for back-to-back world titles
(Image credit: AFP)
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2007 Worlds: Fans express their displeasure with doping while the peloton rolls along in Stuttgart, Germany

2007 Worlds: Fans express their displeasure with doping while the peloton rolls along in Stuttgart, Germany
(Image credit: AFP)
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2007 Worlds: Peter Velits (Slovakia) won the U23 men's road race while in his wake Blel Kadri (France) and Martin Kohler (Switzerland) crash heavily against the barriers

2007 Worlds: Peter Velits (Slovakia) won the U23 men's road race while in his wake Blel Kadri (France) and Martin Kohler (Switzerland) crash heavily against the barriers
(Image credit: AFP)
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2003 Worlds: Igor Astarloa (Spain) soloed to the men's world title in Canada

2003 Worlds: Igor Astarloa (Spain) soloed to the men's world title in Canada
(Image credit: AFP)
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2003 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) of Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Igor Astarloa (Spain) and Peter Van Petegem (Belgium)

2003 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) of Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Igor Astarloa (Spain) and Peter Van Petegem (Belgium)
(Image credit: AFP)
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1997 Worlds: Alex Zulle and his Swiss teammates preview the parcours in San Sebastian, Spain

1997 Worlds: Alex Zulle and his Swiss teammates preview the parcours in San Sebastian, Spain
(Image credit: AFP)
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2005 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Tom Boonen (Belgium) and Anthony Geslin (France)

2005 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Tom Boonen (Belgium) and Anthony Geslin (France)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2005 Worlds: Tom Boonen (Belgium) sprints to the world championship in Madrid, Spain

2005 Worlds: Tom Boonen (Belgium) sprints to the world championship in Madrid, Spain
(Image credit: AFP)
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2005 Worlds: Madrid, Spain hosted the road world championships

2005 Worlds: Madrid, Spain hosted the road world championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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2005 Worlds: Tom Boonen (Belgium) and Paolo Bettini (Italy) shoot the breeze

2005 Worlds: Tom Boonen (Belgium) and Paolo Bettini (Italy) shoot the breeze
(Image credit: AFP)
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1998 Worlds: Just how windy and rainy was it for the elite men's world championship road race in Valgenburg, the Netherlands?

1998 Worlds: Just how windy and rainy was it for the elite men's world championship road race in Valgenburg, the Netherlands?
(Image credit: AFP)
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1998 Worlds: Mark Scanlon (Ireland), right, was the winner of the junior men's road race ahead of Filippo Pozzato (Italy), left

1998 Worlds: Mark Scanlon (Ireland), right, was the winner of the junior men's road race ahead of Filippo Pozzato (Italy), left
(Image credit: AFP)
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2011 Worlds: Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) celebrates the first world championship of his career

2011 Worlds: Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) celebrates the first world championship of his career
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Worlds: As is usually the case, colossal crowds are on hand to watch the world championship road race

2011 Worlds: As is usually the case, colossal crowds are on hand to watch the world championship road race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Worlds: Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) solos away from his rivals in the finale en route to a world championship

2011 Worlds: Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) solos away from his rivals in the finale en route to a world championship
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2012 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) and Alejandro Valverde (Spain)

2012 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) and Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Worlds: Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) takes a narrow sprint victory to claim the world championship

2011 Worlds: Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) takes a narrow sprint victory to claim the world championship
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Matt Goss (Australia), Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) and Andre Greipel (Germany)

2011 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Matt Goss (Australia), Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) and Andre Greipel (Germany)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Worlds: World champion Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) full of emotion on the podium

2011 Worlds: World champion Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) full of emotion on the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Worlds: The Devil is out and about in Copenhagen for the road world championships

2011 Worlds: The Devil is out and about in Copenhagen for the road world championships
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2010 Worlds: Thos Hushovd (Norway) resplendent in the rainbow jersey

2010 Worlds: Thos Hushovd (Norway) resplendent in the rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2010 Worlds: The peloton in action in Geelong, Australia

2010 Worlds: The peloton in action in Geelong, Australia
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2010 Worlds: Thor Hushovd (Norway) wins the world championship ahead of Matti Breschel (Denmark) and Allan Davis (Australia)

2010 Worlds: Thor Hushovd (Norway) wins the world championship ahead of Matti Breschel (Denmark) and Allan Davis (Australia)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2009 Worlds: Australia's Cadel Evans basks in the moment of winning the world championship

2009 Worlds: Australia's Cadel Evans basks in the moment of winning the world championship
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2009 Worlds: Cadel Evans (Australia) attacks with all his might in the closing kilometres and rides away alone to a world title

2009 Worlds: Cadel Evans (Australia) attacks with all his might in the closing kilometres and rides away alone to a world title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2009 Worlds: It's not a world championship road race until somebody lets loose with some smoke flares

2009 Worlds: It's not a world championship road race until somebody lets loose with some smoke flares
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2008 Worlds: The peloton and tifosi in all of their colorful spendor

2008 Worlds: The peloton and tifosi in all of their colorful spendor
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2008 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) of Damiano Cunego (Italy), Alessandro Ballan (Italy) and Matti Breschel (Denmark)

2008 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) of Damiano Cunego (Italy), Alessandro Ballan (Italy) and Matti Breschel (Denmark)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2008 Worlds: Alessandro Ballan (Italy) is moments away from the biggest victory of his career

2008 Worlds: Alessandro Ballan (Italy) is moments away from the biggest victory of his career
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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1999 Worlds: Damiano Cunego wins the U23 world championship on home soil in Verona, Italy

1999 Worlds: Damiano Cunego wins the U23 world championship on home soil in Verona, Italy
(Image credit: AFP)
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1999 Worlds: Frank Vandenbroucke (Belgium) on the start line in Verona

1999 Worlds: Frank Vandenbroucke (Belgium) on the start line in Verona
(Image credit: AFP)
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1998 Worlds: A clean sweep for Italy in the U23 men's road race via (L-R) Rinaldo Nocentini, Ivan Basso and Danilo Di Luca

1998 Worlds: A clean sweep for Italy in the U23 men's road race via (L-R) Rinaldo Nocentini, Ivan Basso and Danilo Di Luca
(Image credit: AFP)
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1997 Worlds: France had plenty to celebrate in San Sebastian, Spain as Laurent Brochard won the road race while compatriot Laurent Jalabert earned the time trial world title

1997 Worlds: France had plenty to celebrate in San Sebastian, Spain as Laurent Brochard won the road race while compatriot Laurent Jalabert earned the time trial world title
(Image credit: AFP)
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1997 Worlds: Laurent Brochard (France) earns the rainbow jersey in San Sebastian, Spain ahead of Bo Hamburger (Denmark) and Leon van Bon (Netherlands)

1997 Worlds: Laurent Brochard (France) earns the rainbow jersey in San Sebastian, Spain ahead of Bo Hamburger (Denmark) and Leon van Bon (Netherlands)
(Image credit: AFP)
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1997 Worlds: Check out the Spinergy wheels in action amidst the men's peloton in San Sebastian, Spain for the world championship road race

1997 Worlds: Check out the Spinergy wheels in action amidst the men's peloton in San Sebastian, Spain for the world championship road race
(Image credit: AFP)
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1997 Worlds: If it's the Worlds then Oscar Freire (Spain) is in the mix. Here he finishes 2nd to Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway) in the U23 road race in San Sebastian, Spain

1997 Worlds: If it's the Worlds then Oscar Freire (Spain) is in the mix. Here he finishes 2nd to Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway) in the U23 road race in San Sebastian, Spain
(Image credit: AFP)
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1997 Worlds: France's Richard Virenque and Laurent Jalabert in San Sebastian, Spain, for the world championships

1997 Worlds: France's Richard Virenque and Laurent Jalabert in San Sebastian, Spain, for the world championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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1993 Worlds: Lance Armstrong (USA) soloed to a world championship in Oslo, Norway

1993 Worlds: Lance Armstrong (USA) soloed to a world championship in Oslo, Norway
(Image credit: AFP)
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1980 Wordls: Elite men's podium (L-R) Gianbattista Baronchelli (Italy), Bernard Hinault (France) and Juan Fernandez (Spain)

1980 Wordls: Elite men's podium (L-R) Gianbattista Baronchelli (Italy), Bernard Hinault (France) and Juan Fernandez (Spain)
(Image credit: AFP)
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1980 Worlds: Soon to be crowned world champion Bernard Hinault (France) looks ready to devour what's left of his competition in one of the most arduous Worlds road races of the modern era

1980 Worlds: Soon to be crowned world champion Bernard Hinault (France) looks ready to devour what's left of his competition in one of the most arduous Worlds road races of the modern era
(Image credit: AFP)
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1995 Worlds: Miguel Indurain is moments away from winning the time trial world championship in Colombia, the only world title in his palmares

1995 Worlds: Miguel Indurain is moments away from winning the time trial world championship in Colombia, the only world title in his palmares
(Image credit: AFP)
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1995 Worlds: To say it rained during the elite men's world championship road race in Duitama, Colombia is a bit of an understatement

1995 Worlds: To say it rained during the elite men's world championship road race in Duitama, Colombia is a bit of an understatement
(Image credit: AFP)
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1995 Worlds: Abraham Olano (Spain) rode in a rear flat tire in the closing kilometers for a world championship victory in Duitama, Colombia

1995 Worlds: Abraham Olano (Spain) rode in a rear flat tire in the closing kilometers for a world championship victory in Duitama, Colombia
(Image credit: AFP)
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1995 Worlds: Miguel Indurain (Spain) oustprints Spinaci-wielding Marco Pantani (Italy) for the silver medal and a 1-2 Spanish finish behind Abraham Olano in Duitama, Colombia

1995 Worlds: Miguel Indurain (Spain) oustprints Spinaci-wielding Marco Pantani (Italy) for the silver medal and a 1-2 Spanish finish behind Abraham Olano in Duitama, Colombia
(Image credit: AFP)
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1996 Worlds: Johan Museeuw (Belgium) celebrates his world championship victory in Lugano, Switzerland

1996 Worlds: Johan Museeuw (Belgium) celebrates his world championship victory in Lugano, Switzerland
(Image credit: AFP)
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1971 Worlds: Eddy Merckx (Belgium) outsprints Felice Gimondi (Italy) to win his second world championship in Mendrisio, Switzerland

1971 Worlds: Eddy Merckx (Belgium) outsprints Felice Gimondi (Italy) to win his second world championship in Mendrisio, Switzerland
(Image credit: AFP)
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1999 Worlds: Oscar who? Spain's Oscar Freire jumped away from an elite group in the final 500 meters to earn the first of three road world championships

1999 Worlds: Oscar who? Spain's Oscar Freire jumped away from an elite group in the final 500 meters to earn the first of three road world championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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1999 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Markus Zberg (Switzerland), Oscar Freire (Spain) and Jean-Cyril Robin (France)

1999 Worlds: Elite men's podium (L-R) Markus Zberg (Switzerland), Oscar Freire (Spain) and Jean-Cyril Robin (France)
(Image credit: AFP)
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2008 Worlds: Italy's Matteo Tosatto and Paolo Bettini approach the finish line in celebration mode in the knowledge that teammates Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego finished 1-2 on hoome soil in Varese

2008 Worlds: Italy's Matteo Tosatto and Paolo Bettini approach the finish line in celebration mode in the knowledge that teammates Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego finished 1-2 on hoome soil in Varese
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Another chapter of the elite men's road race world championship is waiting to be written on Sunday afternoon and with 25 of the top 30 riders in the world slated to start, including all three Grand Tour winners from this year as well as the previous four rainbow jersey winners, the racing should be stellar.

The parcours in Florence, Italy, will be punishing, featuring 3,000 meters of climbing over a 272km route and undoubtedly a worthy champion will be crowned.

To whet your appetite for Sunday's finale Cyclingnews has compiled images from 30 different world championship editions, stretching back to 1968 where Vittorio Adorni crushed the peloton and won alone by an astonishing 10 minutes on home soil in Imola, Italy.

The world championships are a special day of racing as it's the one event each year where trade team kits, albeit not always loyalties, are traded for the colours of one's national team.

Check out the 116 photo gallery for a trip down memory lane consisting of cycling luminaries such as Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond, Moreno Argentin, Gianni Bugno as well as the champions of a more recent vintage.