Australia is sending a reduced team to the world championships, with COVID restrictions meaning that there will be no juniors sent to contest 'worlds'. The best Australian junior cyclists will instead compete at a junior training camp at the end of 2021.
Watch every event from the 2021 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Flanders, with coverage on SBS OnDemand and SBS VICELAND from September 19-26.
Under 23 Men
The next generation of Australian star cyclists will be the first up in competition for the world championships, with the Australian team not fielding starters in the men's and women's elite time trials. For the U23s Australia is in the unique position of fielding both the reigning U23 elite time trial champion and the elite champion!
Lucas Plapp will lead the way after besting Luke Durbridge at nationals earlier in the year, and shapes as one of the favourites for the race. He will have to overcome a fractured elbow from the Tour de l'Avenir, but he is now back on the bike and had been training on the stationary bike through the worst of the injury.
Carter Turnbull had a great national championships, but hasn't had much racing in 2021 with domestic team Inform TMX MAKE due to coronavirus restirctions. He went to Europe with Trinity Racing as part of the team's development program, but this will be the 21-year-old's best chance to shine.
In the road race, it will be Jarrad Drizners (Hagens Berman Axeon) and Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) who bring impressive form to the race, both finishing fourth overall in their most recent races in Belgium and France.
Drizners is a former National Road Series champion, while Plowright was the winner of this year's Melbourne to Warrnambool, both are regarded as some of the best prospects of the next generation of talent.
19-year-old Alastair MacKellar (Israel Cycling Academy) has fewer results to his name in his young career, but has impressed in his time with the development squad for the WorldTour team, with a win and a second place behind former WorldTour pro Ben King in racing in Portugal earlier this year.
Elite Women's Road Race
In the women’s squad, Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo), Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) and Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange) line up as the experienced stars of the team alongside Sarah Roy, Jess Allen (both Team BikeExchange), Lauretta Hanson (Trek-Segafredo) and Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope).
Hosking won the final stage of the Tour of Norway, but with the race unlikely to come back for a final sprint at the world championships, it is likely that Australia will try and use their numbers in attacks around the Flanders course.
Grace Brown would have been one of the favourites for the race, but is out recovering from shoulder surgery after a crash earlier in the season. Sarah Gigante is also absent with an illness keeping her out of competition.
Elite Men's Road Race
Michael Matthews and Caleb Ewan shape as the most likely leaders in the men’s squad, with the sprinters having both the ability to win from a bunch sprint and handle the 268-kilometre distance of the course.
Matthews is coming off a winless Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, but he was very competitive in both and will be looking to bounce back here.
Ewan had a very different preparation, after crashing out of the Tour de France early on and sitting on the sidelines for months, but he won recently at the Benelux Tour on a tough course.
The rest of the team is a strong mix of classics specialists and all-rounders with Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ), Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal), Luke Durbridge, Nicholas Schultz, Robert Stannard (all Team BikeExchange) and Nathan Haas (Cofidis).
UCI Road World Championships
Sunday, September 19
UCI Road World Championships Men's Elite Individual Time Trial
22:10 - 01:25 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
Monday, September 20
UCI Road World Championships Men's Under 23 Individual Time Trial
18:30 - 21:10 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
UCI Road World Championships Women's Individual Time Trial
22:30 - 01:00 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
Tuesday September 21
UCI Road World Championships Women's Junior Individual Time Trial
18:25 - 20:40 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
UCI Road World Championships Men's Junior Individual Time Trial
22:50 - 01:25 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
Wednesday September 22
UCI Road World Championships Mixed Team Time Trial
22:15 - 01:05 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
Friday September 24
UCI Road World Championships Men's Junior Road Race
16:10 - 19:35 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
UCI Road World Championships Men's U23 Road Race
21:15 - 02:00 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
Saturday September 25
UCI Road World Championships Women's Junior Road Race
16:00 - 18:35 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand
UCI Road World Championships Women's Elite Road Race
20:10 - 01:00 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand before SBS VICELAND LIVE starts at 21:30
Sunday September 26
UCI Road World Championships Belgium Men's Elite Road Race
18:15 - 01:20 (AEST) - Live streaming to SBS On Demand before SBS VICELAND LIVE at 21:30