After completing victory in the Tour of Britain on Sunday in a result secured by a devastating time-trial display, the 33-year-old will today ride for the rainbow jersey of world champion in the 58-kilometre course through Tuscany.
Six times a world champion on the track, Wiggins is bidding for his maiden road world title against one of the most competitive fields ever assembled for the event.
Two-times defending champion Tony Martin of Germany, quadruple world champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland and the United States’ Taylor Phinney are expected to be Wiggins’ main challengers. Briton Alex Dowsett, a time-trial stage winner at May’s Giro d’Italia, is also capable of a high placing.
“The Tour of Britain has been the first time since the Olympics that I’ve been hungry to a point where I’ve put everything on the line,” Wiggins said recently.
“It’s nice to be back feeling hungry about racing again instead of just going through the motions.”
Wiggins compared the dual challenge of the Tour of Britain and World Championships to his Tour de France and Olympics double last year.
The Netherlands’ Ellen van Dijk won the women’s time-trial yesterday in commanding fashion. Van Dijk finished 25.33 seconds clear of the field in winning the 22-kilometre event in 20min 54.57secs.
New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen was second in 21:19.90, with Carmen Small of the United States third in 21:23.25.