All three riders are currently lying in the top 10 overall at the Vuelta a España and will be expected to shine on the mountainous Austrian course, which features more than 4000 metres of total climbing and the final steep Höll climb that has section at over 20 per cent.
The eight-man squad boasts considerable strength in depth. Sergio Henao, Sebastian Henao (Team Sky) and Rodrigo Contreras (EPM Scott) have been selected, along with Uran’s EF-Drapac teammate Daniel Martínez and Quintana’s Movistar colleague Winner Anacona.
Egan Bernal is not included in the team. The Team Sky rider impressed in finishing 15th overall at his debut Tour de France in July, but he has not raced since he suffered facial injuries in a crash at the Clasica San Sebastian. Another absentee is Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott), who has not raced since being diagnosed with mononucleosis after the Giro d'Italia.
Colombia will also field one of the favourites for the under-23 race, with Vuelta a Burgos winner Ivan Sosa (Androni-Sidermec) leading the five-man selection.
The 20-year-old Sosa will move up to WorldTour level with Trek-Segafredo in 2019 and has impressed throughout this season. He beat his fellow countryman Miguel Angel Lopez to win in Burgos and placed sixth overall at the Tour de l’Avenir and the Colombia Paz y Oro race.
Ana Cristina Sanabria, Paula Andrea Patiño and Liliana Moreno will represent Colombia in the elite women’s road race.
Colombia has never won a medal in the elite men’s road race at the World Championships, though Santiago Botero won the time trial title in Zolder in 2002, a year after taking bronze in the event in Lisbon. Rigoberto Uran claimed the silver medal in the road race at the London 2012 Olympics, while Sergio Henao was in contention to emulate the feat in Rio in 2016 only to crash out on the final descent of Vista Chinesa.
Uran currently lies eighth overall at the Vuelta, while Quintana is sixth. Lopez faces into the final two mountain stages in fourth place, 1:36 off the overall lead and 14 seconds off a podium berth.
The UCI Road World Championships take place in Innsbruck from September 23-30. Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the championships with exclusive news, interviews and photo galleries.
Colombia for UCI Road World Championships:
Elite men’s road race: Nairo Alexander Quintana (Movistar Team), Rigoberto Urán (EF Drapac), Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team), Sergio Luis Henao (Team Sky), Daniel Felipe Martínez (EF Drapac), Sebastián Henao (Team Sky), Winner Anacona (Movistar Team) and Rodrigo Contreras (EPM Scott).
Elite women’s road race: Ana Cristina Sanabria (Swapit Agolico), Paula Andrea Patiño (UCI World Cycling Centre) and Liliana Moreno (Astana Women’s Team).
Under-23 men’s road race: Iván Ramiro Sosa (Androni Sidermec), Alejandro Osorio (GW Shimano), Wilmar Andrés Paredes (Manzana Postobon Team), Einer Rubio Reyes (Vejus Italia) and Miguel Eduardo Flórez (Willier Selle Italia).