The eight-man British team that will attack the hilly Ponferrada road course on 28 September features Tour de France champions Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
Wigins will hone his preparation at the Tour of Britain where he is the defending champion while Froome is currently racing at the Vuelta a Espana.
Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead will spearhead a six-strong team in the women's race a day earlier.
In the time trial, which takes place on 24 September, 2013 runner-up Wiggins and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alex Dowsett are in contention for the two men's places.
But there will be no British representative in the women's time-trial.
"We're fortunate to have a strong pool of riders from which to make our final selection," said British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton.
Cavendish, the 2011 world champion, had to undergo shoulder surgery
after crashing on the opening stage of this year's Tour de France in the
northern English town of Harrogate.
He is set to continue his recovery at the Tour of Britain but will not be fit enough to challenge for the later world title.
Great Britain team for the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain.
Men's elite road race (eight from): Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Andy Fenn, Chris Froome, Pete Kennaugh, David Millar, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Scott Thwaites, Bradley Wiggins, Adam Yates, Simon Yates
Men's elite time-trial (two from): Dowsett, Cummings, Thomas, Wiggins
Women's elite road race (six from): Lizzie Armitstead, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Anna Christian, Lucy Coldwell, Lucy Garner, Nikki Harris, Annie Last, Sharon Laws.