The 2015 UCI Road World Championships take place from 19-27 September and a robust Great Britain Cycling Team will travel to Richmond, Virginia, USA to contest the road race and time trial events from junior through to elite.
With strong selections in all categories and many riders hitting form in the build-up, hopes are high for British success in Richmond.
Ian Stannard has been the engine room of Team Sky throughout the 2015 season, the 28-year-old from Essex last seen stringing out the peloton at the Tour of Britain.
The former British road champion supported Chris Froome through his historic second Tour de France victory in the summer, after taking victory of his own at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February. The classics-inspired course for the world championships will suit Stannard.
Ben Swift was team leader elect a year ago in Ponferrada, Spain, finishing in 12th position as Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski surged to a resounding solo victory.
Swift’s 2015 was ruined by a shoulder injury suffered at the Tour of Yorkshire, the man from Rotherham signalling his returning to action at the RideLondon Surrey Classic in July with a third place finish.
Steve Cummings was part of the nine-man team that supported Mark Cavendish’s 2011 triumph and will once again form the backbone of the British team for the road race. Cummings impressed at the Tour de France, riding for the South African MTN-Qhubeka squad, taking a superbly timed victory on stage 14 from Rodez to Mende. Cummings will also ride the elite men's time trial alongside countryman Alex Dowsett.
Andy Fenn has ridden a packed season for Team Sky, contesting Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix, alongside a season-long schedule of stage races. Fenn was last seen at Tour of Britain supporting Wout Poel’s bid for victory.
Welshman Luke Rowe has had a superb season, the 25-year-old battling to a top-ten finish at Paris-Roubaix before completing his first Tour de France in support of Chris Froome. Rowe will lap up the classics-style Richmond course and has proved his versatility and work ethic through the season in his trade colours.
Also 25 years old, Scott Thwaites adds further firepower to the squad, the Bora-Argon 18 rider demonstrating his ability through a varied season that has seen finishes at Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders. The terrain will suit Thwaites, who prospered with a fifth place at the British Cycling National Road Championships in Lincoln. A young Thwaites also won the Lincoln Grand Prix on the same hilly cobbled finish back in 2011.
Alex Dowsett has had a year that has been as varied as it has been successful. Dominating the early season was his successful hour record attempt, before going on to bag his first stage race victory at Bayern Rundfahrt (on the back of a win in the time trial).
The man from Maldon went on to regain his British time trial title before taking part in his first Tour de France in July. The powerhouse course will suit the 26-year-old Movistar pro.
Adam Yates gained a late call-up to the team following the withdrawal of Geraint Thomas from the elite-men’s shortlist.
Adam has scored a number of victories this season in both one-day and stage races. The 23-year-old twin from Bury won the UCI 1.UWT Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian in August followed by taking the youth classification at the Tour of Alberta earlier in September. Adam followed up with another strong Canadian result, second place at the UCI 1.UWT Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal just a week out from the championships.
Lizzie Armitstead stated midway through her season that the world championships was her number one priority for 2015 after seeing victory slip away from her in Ponferrada a year earlier.
The 26-year-old from Otley also stated that she was prepared to sacrifice the UCI Women’s Road World Cup for a chance of gaining her first rainbow jersey on the road but went on to win the 10-round series convincingly.
Armitstead loves hard races and excels on classics-style courses, so should be right at home on a route that owes as much to Vlaanderen as it does to Virginia.
Armitstead will be supported by a strong team, a number of whom have the ability to challenge for themselves if a plan B is called for.
Chief amongst them is two-time junior world champion Lucy Garner, who has just completed a move from Team Liv-Plantur to Wiggle Honda.
Sprinter Garner took a stage win at the UCI 2.1 La Route de France in August and scored a top five place at the UCI 1.1 La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta earlier in September.
Alice Barnes (above left) sees her second consecutive road worlds selection, the British Cycling Olympic Senior Academy Programme mountain biker supporting Armitstead in Spain a year ago.
Barnes has shown her versatility throughout this season, taking her first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup podium in Mont Sainte Anne after winning silver at the British Cycling National Road Championships behind Armitstead.
Molly Weaver has ridden a full season of UCI Women’s Road World Cup races and took silver in the national time trial championships and fourth in the road race. The 21-year-old Team Liv-Plantur rider has also ridden the women’s Giro d’Italia and La Route de France so has plenty of experience on the big stage.
Jessie Walker completes the team for the road race, the 20-year-old Servetto Footon rider having ridden the world cups alongside a string of stage races which have seen her ride high in the youth classifications.
Hayley Simmonds surprised many by dominating the time trial at the British Cycling National Road Championships in June, the superb effort earning the former rower a shot at the world championships event. The result should not have been the surprise it was however, the 27-year-old from Lincolnshire having taken the RTCC 10 and 50-mile national titles in 2014.
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Welshman Owain Doull showed that he is in stellar form ahead of Richmond, the Team Wiggins rider racing to a podium finish at the Tour of Britain behind World Tour riders Edvald Boasson Hagen and Wout Poels.
The under-23 national road champion also won the points jersey at the British tour, thanks to his ability to place well at the finish regardless of terrain.
Experience gained from an early season of UCI Under-23 Nations’ Cup events will serve Doull and the team well, Doull taking second place at la Cote Picarde after a late puncture robbed him of the chance to vie for victory at the under-23 Tour of Flanders a few days earlier.
Doull will be joined by fellow Welshman Scott Davies, who shone at the Tour de Yorkshire in May, placing 12th overall amid world-class opposition. Key to Davies success is his versatility, at home in a leading or supporting role, a strong climber and a superb time triallist - winning the British under-23 title in 2014 and 2015.
Tao Geoghegan Hart continues the roll of talent on offer in the five-man team, the 20-year-old Londoner showing strongly at the Tour of Britain until a crash on stage five scuppered his general classification hopes.
Geoghegan Hart took the youth classification at the UCI 2.HC USA Pro Challenge earlier in September and bagged third at the under-23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege early in the season. Hart also took bronze at the national time trial championships, showing that the Axeon Cycling Team man can profit in a variety of scenarios.
Alex Peters, like Geoghegan Hart, became a stagiere for Team Sky after strong performances in 2015. Most recently, Peters was the top-placed Great Britain Cycling Team rider at the Tour of Britain, taking 12th overall on general classification.
Gabriel Cullaigh completes Great Britain’s under-23 men’s line-up, the 19-year old having competed throughout the UCI Under-23 Nations’ Cup. His season highlight was a stage win at the Course de la Paix race in May. Cullaigh impressed on the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain, in a stage-long break with compatriots Graham Briggs and Alex Dowsett.
From: Isle of Man
Top 2015 results: Junior Tour of Wales (overall), 2015 junior national road race champion
Top 2015 results: European junior men’s points race (gold), Junior Tour of Wales (stage)
Top 2015 results: Isle of Man Youth and Junior Tour (2 x stage wins)
From: Isle of Man
Top 2015 results: NatWest Island Games (3 x silver - British Cycling Women’s Road Series (Curlew Cup) (3rd), Ryedale Women’s Grand Prix (5th)
Top 2015 results: Ras na mBan 2015 (points jersey), UEC Under-23 and Junior European Track Championships, 2015 (junior women - omnium) (silver), Hillingdon Women’s Grand Prix (1st)
Abby Mae Parkinson
From: West Yorkshire
Top 2015 results: Ryedale Women’s Grand Prix (2nd), EPZ Omloop van Borsele Junior Women (5th overall)
From: Stowmarket, Suffolk
Top 2015 results: UEC Under-23 and Junior European Track Championships, (junior scratch race - silver), British Cycling Junior & Youth A National Track Championships (junior scratch race – silver)
The historic city of Richmond, Virginia has pulled out all the stops for the 2015 championships with challenging courses prepared for the time trial and road races across all categories.
All routes converge on the city’s iconic Monument Avenue, voted as one of the ’10 great streets of America’, which for a week will become the global epicentre of road cycling.
Time trial (elite women, under-23 men, junior men, junior women)
Lap distance: 15km (elite women, under-23 men and junior men x 2 laps, junior women x 1 lap)
Elite men’s time trial
Course distance: 53km
Lap distance: 16.2km
Race distances: Elite men 259.2km, elite women 129.6km, under-23 men 162.2km, junior men 129.6km, junior women 64.9km
Monday 21 September
- Junior women 3:00pm to 4:10pm
- Under-23 men 4:30pm to 8:50pm
Tuesday 22 September
- Junior men 2:30pm to 6:05pm
- Elite women 6:30pm to 9:45pm
Wednesday 23 September
- Elite men 6:00pm to 8:35pm
Friday 25 September
- Junior women 3:00pm to 4:50pm
- Under-23 men 5:45pm to 9:50pm
Saturday 26 September
- Junior men 2:00pm to 5:15pm
- Elite women 6:00pm to 9:25pm
Sunday 27 September
- Elite men 2:00pm to 8:40pm
- Event-by-event reports, results, images and reaction will appear on the British Cycling website.
- Great Britain Cycling Team updates throughout the championships on Twitter @BritishCycling.
- Follow the whole event on Twitter at @richmond2015.
- Get the official Richmond2015 app
- Live streaming of all time trial and road race events (except junior) on www.richmond2015.com.
- BBC TV will cover the event as follows:
- Tuesday 22 September - elite women's time-trial - 6:20pm, red button
- Wednesday 23 September - elite men's time-trial - 5:50pm, red button
- Saturday 26 September - elite women's road race - 5:50pm, red button
- Sunday 27 September - elite men's road race - 1:50pm, red button
- Sunday 27 September - elite women's road race highlights - 3pm, BBC2
- Monday 28 September - elite men's road race highlights - 2pm BBC2