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Gallery: Four decades of road Worlds

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.

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