Vincenzo Nibali has been named in the nine man Italian squad that will take part in the World Championships road race on Sunday.
Nibali will be expected to do well in the race but with injury problems going into the World Championships it is likely he will support his teammates.
The Italian has only ridden in five one-day race since his famous Tour de France victory in July. He crashed during the Tre Valli Varesine and is still suffering from the effects of that injury.
Nibali admits he should be resting
Nibali damaged his hip in the fall and admits he isn't in any sort of form and should be resting not racing.
According to Cycling Weekly, the 29-year-old said: “My form is what it is. It’s useless to say that I’m still at the same level that I had when I was winning the Tour de France.”
“It hurts and I hope that before Sunday that I’m better. The truth is that I should be home to recover, but instead I’m here at the Worlds.”
Rui Costa won the road race in 2013 with Nibali crossing the line in fourth despite crashing towards the end of the race.
The Astana team leader is hoping for better this year even though he is still suffering with his hip injury and he thinks he can make it hard for his rivals because the Italian squad is very strong.
“The course is hard, but not that hard. It’s going to depend a lot on the race rhythm. We want to make it hard.”
“We have great riders and we are all near the same level. It’s going to be hard for the others to always mark all of our moves.”
Nibali will be racing alongside Giovanni Visconti, Fabio Aru, Daniele Bennati, Damiano Caruso, Giampaolo Caruso, Sonny Colbrelli, Alessandro De Marchi and Manuel Quinziato.
There will also be two reserve riders just in case of injury or sickness. These riders are Edoardo Zardini and Davide Formolo.
All eyes will be on Nibali but whether he will be able to deliver is another question because he isn't in form and he is still injured. If Nibali is to win the race, Astana will have to control it from start to finish.
The route will suit the sprinters rather than riders in the breakaway because there are only two small climbs which is why it will be hard for any one team to control the race.