COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- National time trial champion Taylor Phinney, his Olympic teammates Tejay van Garderen and Chris Horner, and a bevy of youngsters will lead the U.S. into the road world championships in the Italian countryside near Florence later this month.
The trio of Olympians will be joined in the men's race by Andrew Talansky, Peter Stetina, Alex Howes and national road race champion Freddie Rodriguez in the races Sept. 22-29.
Phinney and Talansky also will compete in the time trial. Phinney finished fourth in the race against the clock at the London Games last summer.
"I'm really excited about the teams we are sending to the world championships," said Jim Miller, who was charged with assembling the team for USA Cycling. "The organizers of the world championships have developed a spectacular course and I believe we have teams capable of producing great results."
While the elite men's team has high hopes of landing on the podium in Italy, the U.S. elite women could be considered the strongest team in the field.
Carmen Small, Evelyn Stevens and Shelley Olds are each in the top 25 of the UCI world rankings, while Mara Abbott won the prestigious Giro Rosa in July. They'll be joined on the team by national road race champion Jade Wilcoxson, Megan Guarnier and Kristin McGrath.
Small will race the time trial along with Stevens, the reigning world silver medalist.