The Cycling World Championships get underway on Sunday, and the British team will be feeling very good about their chances of victory. Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking to add a World Championship to his tally, while Sir Bradley Wiggins will provide impressive support to that bid.
Wiggins himself is one of the favourites for the time-trial crown, but this year's road race favours the climbers more than in recent years, so Wiggins is an ideal choice to assist Froome.
The two riders haven't always had the best relationship, fighting a public battle over who would be the No. 1 rider for the Sky team in this year's Tour de France. This followed the controversy around the attacks on Wiggins through the mountains in the same event last year.
Despite this friction, Metro reported that Wiggins has been quick to reassure the cycling world that he will provide nothing but professional support to his younger teammate:
At the end of the day it is just sport, it is about going out there and doing a job professionally. It is as simple as that. Whether people get on or they don’t get on in walks of life, it shouldn’t stop you going out and doing the job you do.
Cycling is a team sport. I always relish the opportunity to be able to ride the worlds for Great Britain, whoever the leader is and do a job that is asked of me.
With Wiggins in support to Froome—as well as looking to dominate the time trial—the British team have to be favourites to bring home glory.
Froome will be watching reigning champion Phillippe Gilbert very closely, but the French rider has had a terrible season so far, failing to register a win in the rainbow jersey until Stage 12 of the Vuelta a Espana.
Froome will be confident he can beat Gilbert, but expect it to be a very interesting battle.
Wiggins is joined by Alex Dowsett in the time trial, who has also been in good form this season. However, they will need to overcome both Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin in order to emerge victorious. Cancellara is a former world time-trial champion, and he and Martin withdrew from the Vuelta a Espana in order to concentrate on this year's world event.
Although Cancellara is also a threat for the road race, he is yet to win the rainbow jersey, so history is against him. Realistically, his best chance will come in the time trial.
As the reigning champion, Martin will also fancy his chances in the time trial, leaving Wiggins and Dowsett with a tough task. However, Wiggins' form during the Tour of Britain showed that he has the legs to overcome anyone in the world, so it's very difficult to bet against him.
Expect both Wiggins and Froome to feature heavily by September 29.