• Romain Bardet at the Deutschland Tour (Getty)Source: Getty
Romain Bardet finished second to Sky's Gianni Moscon at the Giro Della Toscana on Wednesday and headlines a super strong French squad for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck.
Cycling Central

AG2R La Mondiale
21 Sep 2018 - 9:48 AM  UPDATED 21 Sep 2018 - 9:53 AM

The finale to the 198km one-day race with its three challenging climbs came down to a three up-sprint between Moscon, Bardet and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), the only survivors after the bunch self-destructed on the final climb. 

"The sensations are good, which validates all the hard work that I have done in recent weeks. And I was able to have fun; I was an animator of the race with a very strong team around me.

WATCH: Ride the worlds - check out the gruelling road race course

"I am happy because I feel that my form is improving since I started my preparation for the World Championships. There is still a race tomorrow (Coppa Sabatini - he finished 69th), and then most of the preparations for the World Championships will be finished. All that will then remain will be to refine things before joining the team for France.”

Watch Romain Bardet in action at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships on Sunday, 30 September from 5.30pm AEST livestreaming here and via SBS On Demand, and live on SBS Viceland from 11.05pm AEST with Bridie O'Donnell, David McKenzie and Matthew Keenan on comms from 8pm. 

Alexandre Geniez was the last man named on the French national team, his victory on Stage 12 of the 2018 Vuelta enough to beat Warren Barguil to the final spot. The 2017 Tour de France King of the Mountain said in an Instagram post he respected the decision and did not wish any criticism or negativity towards the selectors but was still disappointed. 

The French team is brimming with recent hot form. Julian Alaphilippe won the recent Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, Tour of Britain and last week's Okolo Slovenska and is also a strong option for victory; Thibaut Pinot won two Vuelta stages; Rudy Molard enjoyed a stint in Vuelta red and finished 14th overall; and Tony Gallopin also won a Vuelta stage. 

WATCH: Recap of the 2018 La Vuelta a Espana

Moscon also finished third at the Coppa Sabatini the day immediately after the Giro Della Toscana, his fourth of four comeback races - and second victory after last week's Coppa Agostoni - after he served a five-week suspension for lashing out at a fellow rider in the 2018 Tour de France. His form will see him contend for leadership of the Italian worlds squad which although not yet fully confirmed does include Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru.

Confirmed - French team to the 2018 UCI Road World Championships: Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot, Rudy Molard, Tony Gallopin, Pierre Rolland, Anthony Roux.

How to watch the worlds with us
The hills are alive with the sound of...road bikes and cheering! The 2018 UCI Road World Championships kick off in Innsbruck, Austria this weekend with our coverage starting Monday 24 September including the main events - the women's (Sat 29 Sep 2000 AEST, on Viceland from 2255) and men's (Sun 30 Sep 1730 AEST, on Viceland from 2305) road races.