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UCI Road World Championships 2020: Elite Men's Road Race - Live coverage


Rise and shine, it's time for the coveted rainbow jersey to be decided in the men's elite road world championships. We're in Imola and the race is about to start in roughly 40 minutes. Stick with us for complete live coverage. 

The race is 258.2km in length, and as we saw yesterday in the women's race there are two decisive climbs during each lap - the Mazzolano (2.8km at an average gradient of 5.9 per cent, with maximum gradients of 13 per cent) and the Cima Gallisterna (2.7km at 6.4 per cent, with stretches at 14 per cent). 

Riders are currently hovering around the start and there's a huge pool of talent here when it comes to picking a winner. To help you out, we've selected ten riders to watch in the race. Here they are!

Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert wins the opening stage of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné. The Belgian will be a key part of the Tour de France squad to support Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

We had the women's race yesterday, and it was another show of complete domination from the Dutch. They won their fourth title in four years and went first, second and fourth on the day. You can read our conclusions from the race, just here.

(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The Tour de France champion is here and he means business. He's of course teaming up with the rider he beat at the Tour, Primoz Roglic to lead his nation at the Worlds. Will they go 1-2 today? Just imagine. 

A new world champion will be crowned today, and that means it's the end of the road for Mads Pedersen in the rainbow jersey - for a year anyway. He's written this personal and touching blog about his time in the jersey.

Road race champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) at the 2020 Tour de France – his last race in the rainbow jersey

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

One of the pre-race favourites,  Julian Alaphilippe has given his assessment ahead of the race:

“We’re outsiders but that doesn’t mean we don’t have ambition. The Slovenians and many others are capable of making the race hard and winning, but I think it will be a completely different race to the Tour. The Worlds is always raced differently. There are really a lot of riders who can win so it’s hard to single out a favourite,” said Alaphillipe, who leads a French team without Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot, crash victims at the Tour.

And on Friday night we talked to Michael Matthews about his hopes of making the podium. He wasn't down to ride the Worlds until the course changed from Switzerland to Italy.

"If I'm not on a good day, and it turns into a real day for the climbers, then we have Richie here with us to take over," explained Matthews. "The climbs here are steeper and harder than we had in Yorkshire [at the 2019 Worlds road race, where Matthews took 24th place out of just 46 finishers]. The climbs last year were short and punchy, whereas here they are longer and more suited more to the pure climbers. The climbs here go up in steps, which is quite hard.

"The course last year suited me, but it also suited a lot of guys who race in a similar way. The conditions that we ended up having definitely didn't suit me," Matthews continued, remembering the wet and cold in Yorkshire last year.

Here's our full interview with Matthews.

Sepp Kuss is here and will lead a small but decent USA team. Powless is also on the start list for the riders in the stars and stripes.

(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Greg Van Avermaet stopped for a quick natter with the media. He's a dark horse today and it's a rare day in which he won't line up as the main favourite in his team, and he could benefit from being the foil for Wout Van Aert. The CCC rider has an excellent chance today. 

(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

Woods leads Canada at this championships and he looked good during Tirreno earlier in the month. He came so close a few years ago and the course does suit him but he'll probably need to finish alone because he can't carry a ride like Alaphilippe or Wout Van Aert to the line.

(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

All our riders are on the start list with the Danes lined out at the front. No defending champion this year but with Fuglsang they have a massive favourite in their ranks. 

And we'll have a neutralized lap around the circuit to begin with as we see a number of riders in arm warmers and a few extra layers. 

On paper Nibali leads Italy but his form has not been great since racing re-starts. The home nation do have the in-form Diego Ulissi in their ranks, however and some are tipping him for the rainbow jersey.

(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The complete start list, for today, is just here. The riders have just completed a lap of the circuit and are about to move out onto open roads. 

We are racing and from the gun we have riders trying to attack. A rider from Romania is in the mix as the bunch lines out.

Polychronis Tzortzakis (Greece) is the next rider to give it a go with a punchy little attack but no luck and we're back together again.

Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan) kicks things off again and race radio has told us that Lutsenko hasn't started. 

We have a group of seven and they're clear with 253km to go. 

And  our leaders have immediately opened up an extensive gap as the peloton sit up. The lead is currently at 2'33 with 249km to go.

Our seven leaders are: Koch (GER), Traeen (NOR), Friedrich (AUT), Fomynkh (KAZ), Arashiro (JAP), Grosu (ROM) and Castillo (MEX).


The seven leaders have a 3'17 lead with 244km to go as the race starts to climb. Back in the bunch and the pace is pretty relaxed.

The reason Lutsenko isn't on the startline today is because of a positive COVID-19. We'll have more details on that later this morning.

The gap has moved up to 3'53 with 242km to go as the bunch tackle the first climb of the race.