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Brits ready for road race challenge
Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead will lead Great Britain in the Road World Championships road races this weekend.
Armitstead will later on Saturday contest the 140-kilometre road race, uncertain if she will be in contention on a tough course, before Froome on Sunday bids to add the rainbow jersey of world champion to the yellow jersey he won at the Tour de France in July.
The 28-year-old Kenya-born Briton will bid to become the first man in 24 years to win the Tour de France and World Championships road race in the same year, since Greg LeMond in 1989.
Froome has had a chance to reflect on winning the 100th Tour de France, with the 272km battle for the rainbow jersey his second major goal for the season.
"The world champs has been the surprising driving force for me," Froome said.
"It hasn't been as big a goal as the Tour and, given that it is a one-day race, it's quite a gamble - it is a bit of a long shot to go for the win there.
"(But) I'm up for it."
Froome wants to limit the opposition by making it challenging for all seven hours in the saddle, "trying to make it the hardest race possible" as he bids to become the third Briton to win the World Championships road race, after Tom Simpson in 1965 and Mark Cavendish two years ago.
Froome leads a strong eight-man squad of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Steve Cummings, Josh Edmondson and Luke Rowe.
Despite enduring a difficult relationship, Froome believes 2012 Tour de France champion Wiggins can have a big role to play.
"He's definitely going to be one of the key guys towards the end of the race," Froome said.
Armitstead believes she will only know on the day whether she is a realistic contender.
The Olympic silver medallist told Press Association Sport: "I'm not feeling on top of the world in terms of form, but I don't think you need to be. I think it's really about who's got the most character at the end of 140 kilometres.
"It's really a case of me being in the right place at the right time and giving myself the best chance."
Armitstead believes Italian duo Giorgia Bronzini and Tatiana Guderzo, both former world champions, are favourites ahead of defending champion and Olympic gold medallist Marianne Vos of Holland.
The Yorkshirewoman will be supported by Nikki Harris, two-time world junior champion Lucy Garner and Katie Colclough.