An exciting year of cycling is set to culminate with the 2012 UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands, and BBC Sport and British Eurosport will have live coverage of all the key races.
The event consists of a road race, time-trial and team time-trial, and the best male and female riders in the world will gather in the Dutch city of Limburg with the aim of ending their seasons on a high.
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and reigning road race world champion Mark Cavendish will head up a powerful nine-man British men’s road race team, while Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Pooley lead a strong GB line-up for the women’s event.
Last year’s event saw Cavendish become Britain’s first male world road race champion for 46 years as his team rode a near-perfect race in Denmark.
Due to challenging route for this year’s road races, the likelihood of Cavendish retaining his title is slim, but other young British riders such as Chris Froome, Luke Rowe and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke could all make their mark.
Spain’s Alberto Contador, who made his comeback in this year’s Eneco Tour following his drugs ban, is expected to feature in Limburg.
The 2012 Championships see a number of changes from recent years, with a team time-trial, last staged as a World Championship event in 1994, scheduled to take place on Sunday 16 September.
This will see trade teams compete in a similar manner to the Eindhoven Team Time-Trial held between 2005 and 2007.
The Junior Championships also reappear on the programme and an opening ceremony also takes place.
The Netherlands last hosted the Road World Championships in 1998 in Valkenburg aan de Geul and this year marks the sixth time the country has hosted the Championships.
Last year’s championships in Denmark featured plenty of success for the British team.
In the time-trials, Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins finished second at last year’s championships as Germany’s Tony Martin took gold.
The women’s title also went to Germany, with Judith Arndt claiming victory, while Great Britain’s Emma Pooley won bronze.
The ‘Manx Missile’, Mark Cavendish, won gold for Great Britain and claimed the famous rainbow jersey in the men’s road race a year ago, while Italy’s Giorgia Bronzini won the women’s event ahead of the Netherlands’ Olympic champion Marianne Vos, who collected her fifth consecutive silver medal.
BBC Sport will have live coverage of all the key races during the week via the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.
Highlights of the men’s and women’s time-trials and road races will be shown in two programmes on BBC One and BBC Two over the weekend of September 22-23 (details below), both presented by Jill Douglas.
Commentary will be provided by Hugh Porter and David Millar.
British Eurosport will also broadcast extensive coverage of the UCI Road World Championships in Limburg, with all the action in high-definition on British Eurosport HD and nightly highlights of the key events.
Sunday 16th September Men’s Team Time-Trial (53.2km) LIVE BBC Red Button – 1.55pm-4pm | British Eurosport – 1.30pm-4pm Tuesday 18th September Women’s Individual Time-Trial (24.3km) LIVE BBC Red Button - 2pm-4.15pm | British Eurosport – 2pm-4.15pm Wednesday 19th September Men’s Individual Time-Trial (45.7km) LIVE BBC Red Button - 1.25pm-4pm | British Eurosport – 1.30pm-4pm Saturday 22nd September Women’s Road Race (129km) LIVE BBC Red Button - 1.20pm-5pm | British Eurosport – 2.15pm-5pm Men’s & Women’s Individual Time-Trials Highlights - BBC One - 3.30pm-4.30pm Sunday 23rd September Men’s Road Race (267km) LIVE BBC Red Button - 9.35am-4.15pm | British Eurosport – 9.15am-4.45pm Men’s & Women’s Road Races Highlights – BBC Two – 3.15pm-5pm . .