The UCI has published a provisional start list of nine-riders for the 28 teams that will take part in the elite men's World Championships team time trial on Saturday, September 20, in Richmond, Virginia.
Having finished third and second twice in the first three events since the discipline was reintroduced in 2012, Orica GreenEdge named a strong team in its attempt to claim the gold medal. Tejay van Garderen is the only rider missing from the roster of defending champions BMC due to injury.
The men will compete on the same course as the women, who will race earlier in the morning on Sunday. The 38.8km course is mostly flat and fast with a mere 240 metre elevation gain. Not far from the finish the riders make a sharp right turn onto Governor street in downtown Richmond and are greeted with a 300 metre climb before a sharp left, hitting the false flat 680 metre finishing stretch.
The defending world champions, BMC Racing, will once again be the favourites returning with a powerhouse squad. The team has been consistent throughout the season, winning both the team time trial stages at the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour de France, though both were won by a second or less. Besides those riders returning from last year, the team also has Taylor Phinney, Philip Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet to chose from.
Team Sky will be without Geraint Thomas, who was originally on the roster before announcing this week he is skipping Worlds and ending his season early due to fatigue. Thomas has been a member of the team time trial squad for the past two years. This leaves only Salvatore Puccio and Vasil Kiryienka as previous members of the Worlds team.
Elia Viviani is on good form but has not raced many team time trials this season, while Danny Pate competed at the Canadian World Tour races races but did not finish either one. Luke Rowe also chose to race in Canada and will likely be part of the final six chosen, having been a part of the Tour de France team time trial squad that finished second.
Orica GreenEdge are hungry for a world title after coming so close the past three years. The Australian-based team includes four riders from last year’s squad – Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Damien Howson, and Svein Tuft – but added Michael Matthews, who returned to Canada for Worlds preparation after his injury at the Tour de France. Matthews will likely make the cut having been a part of the winning TTT squad at the Giro d’Italia in May, though he has announced his focus is on the road race.
Two-time champions Etixx-Quick Step have revealed the final six-man team for Sunday's race. Four from the six 2014 team are returning, with Rigoberto Uran and Yves Lampaert rounding out the squad. Belgians Pieter Serry and Julien Vermonte are both listed on the UCI start lists for the team but were not included in the team announcement for those heading to Richmond.
In the women's event, Velocio-SRAM will be looking to go out with a bang and take their fourth straight World team time trial title. Individual title holder Lisa Brennauer is the key rider in the nine-woman long-list. Tiffany Cromwell, Barbera Guarischi and Trixi Worrack are also among the nine named. They'll face some tough competition from the Rabo Liv Women's Team, Boels Dolmans and the Orica-AIS squad. Boels Dolmans bring some serious firepower with former time trial world champion Ellen Van Dijk and Evelyn Stevens - both former TTT champions with Specialized-Lululemon - and recent World Cup winner Lizzie Armitstead.
Etixx-Quick Step final six: Tom Boonen (Bel), Tony Martin (Ger), Niki Terpstra (Ned), Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol), Rigoberto Uran (Col, and Yves Lampaert (Bel).
Orica GreenEdge for the team time trial: Michael Albasini (Sui), Sam Bewley (NZl), Luke Durbridge (Aus), Michael Hepburn (Aus), Damien Howson (Aus), Daryl Impey (Rsa), Michael Matthews (Aus), Jens Mouris (Ned) and Svein Tuft (Can).
BMC long list for team time trial: Rohan Dennis (Aus), Silvan Dillier (Sui), Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Stefan Küng (Sui), Daniel Oss (Ita), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (Ita), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) and Peter Velits (Svk).
Team Sky: Vasil Kiryienka (Blr), Leopold König (Cze), Danny Pate (USA), Salvatore Puccio (Ita), Nicolas Roche (Irl), Luke Rowe (Gbr), Ian Stannard (Gbr) and Elia Viviani (Ita).
Velocio-SRAM: Lisa Brennauer (Ger), Alena Amialiusik (Blr), Karol-Ann Canuel (Can), Tiffany Cromwell (Aus), Elise Delzenne (Fra), Barbera Guarischi (Ita), Mieke Kroeger (Ger), Taylor Wiles (USA), Trixi Worrack (Ger).
Boels Dolmans: Lizzie Armitstead (GBr), Chantal Blaak (Ned), Megan Guarnier (USA), Romy Kasper (Ned), Christine Majerus (Lux), Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol), Evelyn Stevens (USA), Ellen van Dijk (Ned).
You can find the full provisional start lists here.