Mark Cavendish will attempt to become the first Brit to wear the rainbow jersey since Tom Simpson in 1965 after British Cycling announced its provisional squad ahead of the World Championships in Copenhagen later this month.
Great Britain have qualified eight places for the road race, which Manx Missile Cavendish has identified as his “best ever” chance of becoming world champion.
Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, currently first and second overall at the Vuelta a Espana, are also named on the long list, along with Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Jeremy Hunt, Pete Kennaugh, David Millar, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas.
Wiggins is also in the provisional time trial squad with Millar, who won silver in Australia last year, and Dowsett, who finished second behind Millar in the 2010 Commonwealth Games time trial, also vying for the two available spots.
Defending world time trial champion Emma Pooley has been selected for the women’s event with Sharon Laws and Julia Shaw, while the women’s road race will see a full quota of seven British riders including current Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.
“This is the biggest team we’ve taken to a Road World Championships demonstrating the continuous progression of road racing in the UK,” said performance director Dave Brailsford.
“It’s great to see the positive impact that Team Sky has had on young developing riders, with Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Pete Kennaugh and Alex Dowsett all being long-listed.
“We are heading to the road worlds with serious aspirations this year. The long-listed team will be narrowed down over the next week, and everyone on the team – both riders and support staff – is excited about the event.”
Full provisional squad
Elite Men’s Road Race (eight places)
Elite Men’s Time Trial (two places)
Elite Women’s Road Race (seven places)
Elite Women’s Time Trial (three places)
Junior Men’s Road Race (five places)
Junior Men’s Time Trial (two places)
Junior Women’s Road Race (four places)
Junior Women’s Time Trial (two places)
U23 Men’s Road Race (5/6 places – to be confirmed after Nations Cup)
U23 Men’s Time Trial (two places)