Simon Gerrans has never before headed into a world championships with the type of blistering form he's carrying into Spain.
By
AAP

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

The 34-year-old is one of the leading favourites for next Sunday's UCI Road World Championships men's elite road race and acknowledges it is "without question" his best chance of claiming the rainbow jersey.

"I don't think I've ever arrived at this point of the season in such good shape and, in my eyes, I've had the best season of my career this year," Gerrans told AAP on the eve of the week-long worlds in Ponferrada.

"It's all really coming together for me this season so I think this could be a fantastic opportunity to win a world championship."

Gerrans is coming off back-to-back Canadian GP wins in Quebec and Montreal.

The Victorian chose a one-day program for his build-up rather than the three-week Vuelta because he'd already ridden a long season.

Gerrans peaked first in January, when he won the national championships and Tour Down Under, and again in the European spring when he clinched Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The Orica-GreenEDGE rider was also in fine form at the Tour de France before being brought down by Mark Cavendish.

Gerrans will travel to north-western Spain on Tuesday to train on the championship course before the 28 September showdown.

There's been mixed message about whether the hilly 18.2km circuit will be tough enough to shell out the pure sprinters.

Some teams think the amount of elevation means it is a climbers's race but others expect around 30 riders will make it to the finish, Gerrans said.

Either way Australia is in a fantastic position with Gerrans, young gun Michael Matthews and former world champion Cadel Evans all protected riders.

Gerrans says if the race becomes a war of attrition it could suit Evans.

"He's just renowned for being there on tough days," the 34-year-old said.

"Then with Michael Matthews, if it goes the other way and we see quite a large group at the finish, we have the luxury of having one of the quickest guys around in our team.

"I fall somewhere between that, so we've got most options covered."

The Spanish duo of Joaquim Rodriguez and Alejandro Valverde could be the biggest obstacle to an Australian win.

The pair made a mess of the 2013 finale to finish second and third respectively.

Gerrans says Valverde is always in the hunt, regardless of the course, and if it's extremely tough Rodriquez will excel.

The Australian reckons German sprinter John Degenkolb could also contest the sprint "if it's not too demanding a day" while Slovak Peter Sagan, like Valverde, is strong on any course.

Gerrans also nominates Swiss star Fabian Cancellara and his countryman Michael Albasini as contenders.

But he's hoping the day will be his.

"If I could win a world championships it would be the highlight of my career," said Gerrans.

"I've had some great wins over the past couple of years but I've always said a world title is the race I've dreamt of winning."

The first five days of the UCI Road World Championships will be live-streamed on the Cycling Central website, while the final two days will be broadcast on SBS ONE and streamed online.