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Rodriguez, Valverde lead Spain in World Championships road race

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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) pulls on the red jersey

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) pulls on the red jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde on the final 2015 Vuelta podium.

Alejandro Valverde on the final 2015 Vuelta podium.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolás (Spain)

Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolás (Spain)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Juan Jose Lobato in yellow on the stage 3 podium.

Juan Jose Lobato in yellow on the stage 3 podium.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Joaquim Rodriguez, second in the Vuelta a Espana, and Alejandro Valverde, seventh, will top the Spanish team for the men's road race in the UCI World Championships in Richmond. Both Rodriguez and Valverde have good records at the World Championships with eight medals between them, however neither have ever donned the rainbow stripes. Valverde has a significant portion of them after a record six finishes on the podium without a win. In fact, it has been 11 years since Spain produced a world champion when Oscar Freire took his third in 2004.

Rodriguez and Valverde will be joined by Juan José Lobato, Ion Izaguirre, Imanol Erviti, Dani Moreno, Luis Leon Sanchez, Ruben Plaza, and Lluis Mas Bonet. National coach Javier Minguez announced the line-up on Tuesday.

Sanchez and Jonathan Castroviejo will ride the time trial. 

Lobato and Mas are making their Worlds debut, but it will be the eleventh appearance for Valverde, who has won two silvers and four bronzes.  

Minguez played down the possibility of conflict between Rodriguez and Valverde. Rodriguez lost the green points jersey of the Vuelta a Espana to Valverde on the final stage, after Rodriguez suffered a puncture near the intermediate sprint, with the former expressing his anger at the situation.

"I'm not worried. When on the circuit they will only think of the race," Minguez told as.com.

Spanish team for World Championships

Road Race: Joaquim Rodriguez, Alejandro Valverde, Juan José Lobato, Ion Izaguirre, Imanol Erviti, Dani Moreno, Luis Leon Sanchez, Ruben Plaza, and Lluis Mas Bonet

Time Trial: Luis Leon Sanchez and Jonathan Castroviejo

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