UCI Road World Championships 2013: Preview to Time Trial and Road Race in Italy

Joe Strange@joe_strangeContributor ISeptember 21, 2013

SIDMOUTH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Sir Bradley Wiggins (R) of Team Sky Procycling wearing the gold leaders jersey leads up the final kilometre on Haytor during stage six of the Tour of Britain from Sidmouth to Haytor on September 20, 2013 in Sidmouth, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

The UCI Road Cycling World Championships begin on Sunday, with time trial and road race events set to take place in Tuscany, Italy.

The team time trial competition sees pro teams pitted against each other for only the second time, after the format came into play at the 2012 World Championships.

The event will open the eight-day championships, with individual time trial and road race events scheduled later in the week.

When: Sunday, September 22

Women's Race: 11 a.m. BST

Men's Race: 3 p.m. BST

Where: Tuscany, Italy

Women's Race: Pistoia to Firenze

Men's Race: Montecatini Terme to Firenze

Teams taking part in the time trial event will need a combination of speed and endurance to come out on top, while tactics will also play a key part in who comes away with the title.

Sir Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and SKY Procycling waits for the start of stage four of the Tour of Britain from Stoke on Trent to Llanberis on September 18, 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Competing teams can enter a maximum of six riders and are allowed to lose just two before the finish, with their time recorded as the fourth member of the team crosses the finish line.

The Tuscany course is largely flat, with one small climb near the start of the men's 57.2-kilometre route.

The women will face a 42.9-kilometre ride, with some tricky corners to negotiate toward the finish.

Reigning men's champions Omega Pharma-QuickStep appear favourites to retain their title, with World Time Trial champion Tony Martin and French champion Sylvain Chavanel in their team.

Orica-GreenEdge, Garmin-Sharp, Astana, BMC and Sky will provide the main competition, having all enjoyed some level of success in this discipline.

CAERPHILLY, WALES - SEPTEMBER 19:  Sir Bradley Wiggins (R) wearing the gold leaders jersey of Team Sky Procycling follows team mates above the town of Merthyr Tydfil during stage five of the Tour of Britain from Machynlleth to Caerphilly on September 19,
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Orica-AIS, who finished second at last year's championships, have an opportunity to go one better with World TT champion Judith Arndt on their side.

The road races will provide a more difficult challenge for those competing, with the men's race covering 272.5 kilometres and the women's race 130 kilometres.

Women's Race: Saturday September 28

Men's Race: Sunday September 29

PEN-Y-PASS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18:  Dan Martin of Ireland and Garmin Sharp leads Nairo Quintana of Colombia and Movistar and race leader Sir Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and SKY Procycling up Pen-y-Pass during stage four of the Tour of Britain from S
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Angelo Zomegnan, the head of the organising committee, explained to Cycling News what tough a task the courses would pose. He said: "The road race course is one of the hardest for many years and will provide some spectacular racing."

There are over 3,000 metres of climbing, providing a physically demanding test for even the most talented of cyclists.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome will go for road race gold in Tuscany, as will Olympic time trial champion Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead will take part in the women's road race, while Emma Pooley will attempt to win the individual time trial after coming first in 2010.