Geraint Thomas will compete for Great Britain in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Imola later this month but the Welshman will sit out the road race as he continues preparations for the Giro d’Italia.

Thomas secured a second place overall finish in Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatico after a strong ride in Monday’s closing time trial – suggesting he is finding his form at the right time ahead of the start of the Giro on October 3.

The 34-year-old will compete in the time trial alongside Alex Dowsett on Friday September 25, but has decided the punishing road race two days later – which includes 5,000 metres of climbing – is too much of an ask only a week before the Giro begins in Sicily.

Tirreno-Adriatico winner Simon Yates is also missing from the squad with this focus squarely on the Giro.

However, James Knox, seventh overall in the Italian event will line up for the road race alongside Hugh Carthy, Matt Holmes, Luke Rowe, James Shaw and the exciting young Tom Pidcock, who won the under-23 edition of the Giro earlier this month. Both Carthy and Rowe are currently riding in the Tour de France.

Performance director Stephen Park said: “We have consistently seen some fantastic results from British riders at the major road races over recent months, and I’m confident that success will translate across to the UCI Road World Championships.

A strong ride in Monday’s closing time trial helped Thomas to a second-placed finish in the Tirreno-Adriatico
A strong ride in Monday’s closing time trial helped Thomas to a second-placed finish in the Tirreno-Adriatico (Marco Alpozzi/AP)

“Geraint is in good form, as proven by his second place finish on the general classification at the Tirreno Adriatico, and we have been working closely with Alex and his coaches over recent months to support his time trial ambitions, so I’m confident we will see some good results in that event.”

On Pidcock, Park added: “He’s a great talent, and a highlight this year was watching him finish in second place in the elite cyclo-cross world championships, so I’m looking forward to seeing him take on the elite men’s field out on the road.”

The Great Britain women’s squad for Imola – a world championships arranged at short notice after the Aigle-Martigny region in Switzerland was forced to give up hosting rights – has already been announced with Lizzie Deignan and Lizzy Banks headlining the squad.