BMC Racing will seek to defend their team time trial title tomorrow ©Getty Images

BMC Racing will look to defend their men’s team time trial crown when they take to the start-line on the first day of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, tomorrow.

The American registered team have triumphed on the last two occasions at the World Championships, with their first victory coming in Ponferrada in 2014, before their successful defence last year in Richmond, United States.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis is expected to prove a key figure in their six-man line-up, which also includes Switzerland’s Stefan Küng, the Italian pairing of Daniel Oss and Manuel Quinziato, as well as Americans Taylor Phinney and Joey Rosskopf.

The latter is their only change from the selection which triumphed at last year’s Championships.

“It’s a special event because the team time trial is really complicated,” Quinziato told the BMC Racing website.

“It’s usually an individual sport and here the rules change completely and actually it’s probably the most stressful event that we ride so it’s going to be hard.

“The easiest one was probably in Ponferrada because no-one expected anything from us, but last year was tough and this year will be even more because we’re the favourites.

“We know we’re going to have to fight to the line and probably the podium places will be only five or six seconds apart, so everything will count.”

The UCI is ready to reduce the distances of events in Doha if temperatures rise to hazardous levels ©Getty Images
The UCI is ready to reduce the distances of events in Doha if temperatures rise to hazardous levels ©Getty Images

The men’s World Tour teams will feature at the Championships after the UCI reached an agreement with the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) to avert a boycott threat last month.

The governing body stated they have “opted for a non-compulsory format for UCI World Teams”, while it was confirmed that no UCI World Tour points would be offered at the event.

AG2R La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, BMC Racing Team, Etixx – Quick Step, Movistar Team, Orica-Bikeexchange, Team Giant - Alpecin, Team Katusha, Team Lotto NL - Jumbo and Team Sky are among the confirmed starters.

The men’s team time trial, which will be raced over 40 kilometres in the Qatari capital, will also be the same course for the women’s event which will get the Championships underway.

Canyon-SRAM, Boels-Dolmans and Rabo-Liv are viewed among the three favourites in the women’s race, with eight teams taking to the start.

Cervélo-Bigla, Twenty16-RideBiker, Team Hitec, BTC City Ljubljana and Astana BePink are also contesting the team time trial tomorrow.

Time trials will dominate the first couple of days of the World Championships, with the women’s and men’s elite races scheduled for Tuesday (October 11) and Wednesday (October 12) respectively, while junior and under-23 races will also take place.

The women’s elite road race will take place next Saturday (October 16), with Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead the defending champion.

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan will head into the men’s race with the hope of defending his title in the concluding event of the Championships, which will be held the following day.

The 89th edition of the event, being held in the Middle East for the first time, has already been moved from the traditional September running to October to avoid extreme hot and blustery weather.

The UCI have revealed that "in the event of high temperatures" the men’s elite road race will have a reduction made to its initial 150 kilometres course before the concluding seven laps on Pearl Qatar, the man-made island off the West Bay coast at which all events will finish.