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- - Jurgen Roelandts (Belgium), Romain Feillu (France), Borut Bozic (Slovenia) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) were next home.
- - Germany's Andre Greipel pipped Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) for the bronze medal.
- - Cavendish is only the second British rider to become men's world road race champion after Tom Simpson in 1965.
- - Geraint Thomas lead under the Flamme Rouge but it was Australia who looked in pole position as Heinrich Haussler lead out Matt Goss but Cavendish burst up the inside to pip the Tasmanian, who was gaining ground, to a historic gold.
14:42 - MARK CAVENDISH IS THE WORLD CHAMPION
1km - The Germans and the US moving towards the front as well. This is going to be a hectic mass sprint for the rainbow jersey.
2km - Ian Stannard is fighting to keep Cavendish on the end of the Australian train. Five white shirts on the front of the peloton.
3km - Wiggins has pulled over and Australia are now setting up their lead-out train.
4km - Carlos Barredo is bringing Oscar Friere up on his wheel but still three British riders on the front.
5km - Australia also moving towards the front for Matt Goss. The sprinters' teams are lining up.
6km - The Italians have five riders near the front now.
7km - Voeckler has one last dig but the leaders have been caught through amazing work by Wiggins.
8km - Wiggins burying himself on the front of the peloton for Cavendish. They are within striking distance of the four leaders.
9km - Hoogerland has joined Vockler-Lodewyck-Sorensen.
10km - Norway's Kurt-Asle Arvesen now helping out Wiggins to make sure that Edvald Boasson Hagen has a chance in a sprint. The gap is down to 11 seconds with Johnny Hoogerland trying to get across to the leaders.
12km - Are the British running out of gas? They have done an amazing amount of work on the front today. The lead is still 17 seconds.
14km - The bell with one lap to go. Vockler-Lodewyck-Sorensen lead by 18 seconds from Bradley Wiggins who is leading the peloton.
16km - France, Belgium and Denmark have an advantage of a few seconds on the David Millar-led peloton.
18km - Roux is caught by his team-mate Thomas Voeckler who gives him a pat on the back on the way through. Nicki Sorensen and Klaas Lodewyck follow the Tour de France hero.
20km - Maarten Tjallingii looks to bridge the gap to Roux but the tempo is too high from GB. The peloton can see the French leader.
22km - It has all come back together on the penultimate lap thanks to the work of Great Britain. Just Roux alone at the head of the field with a 10 second advantage on the peloton.
25km - A reminder of the race favourites: Spain - Oscar Freire, José Joaquín Rojas; Germany - André Greipel, John Degenkolb; Britain - Mark Cavendish; Norway - Edvald Boasson Hagen; USA - Tyler Farrar; Belgium - Philippe Gilbert; Slovakia - Peter Sagan; Italy - Daniele Bennati; Australia - Matt Goss; Netherlands - Lars Boom; France - Romain Feillu
28km - With two laps to go, Roux leads nine of his fellow escapees by 14 seconds. Bak has caught and passed Tanai Kangert, the Dane is 28 seconds behind the French leader and followed by Johan Van Summeren. The peloton is at 51 seconds.
30km - Anthony Roux has attacked the lead group.
2.5 - Nuyers again on the attack with fellow Belgian Björn Leukemans, Aussie Michael Rogers and Swiss Michael Albasini but Team GB are working like trojans to pull back these small groups. Now home rider Lars Bak goes for a solo bid. The lead group is now just 40 seconds ahead.
3 - That counter-attack was shortlived but this time it is Italy's Francesco Gavazzi who looks to launch a break as the riders go over the line. Three laps to go and the gap to the 11 leaders is 59 seconds. The race looks done for Hushovd as his group are 2:45 back.
3.5 - A counter-attack featuring Dan Martin (Ireland), Nick Nuyens (Belgium) and Australian duo Simon Gerrans and Baden Cooke has gone away.
4 - 56km remaining and the average speed is still over 45km/h. A 108-man strong peloton is at 1:35 with the Hushovd group a further minute back.
4.5 - New Zealand hopefuls Julian Dean and Greg Henderson plus Luis Leon Sanchez are in that second chase group with Hushovd, 2:30 behind the leaders and 1:15 behind the British-led peloton.
5 - A lead group of 11 has formed. They are: Yoann Offredo and Anthony Roux (France), Olivier Kaisen and Johan Van Summeren (Belgium), Luca Paolini (Italy), Simon Clarke (Australia), Maxim Iglinksy (Kazakhstan), Pablo Lastras (Spain), Tanai Kangert (Estonia), Oleg Chuzda (Ukraine) and Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia). The peloton are 1:04 back but that crash has caused a split with Thor Hushovd is among the race favourites a further minute back.
5.5 - A big crash involving Frank Schleck, Greg Van Avermaet, Frank Schleck, Bial Kadri, Samuel Dumoulin, Thomas Rohregger and Michael Barry. All are back on their bikes but that will be the end of their chances. Too much time lost.
6 - The lead group could be 12 by the next lap as the two breakaway groups are seperated by 2:03 with the peloton at 2:55 with Giovanni Visconti trying to jump off the front.
6.5 - One man we haven't mentioned amongst the potential winners is Slovakia's Peter Sagan who won three stages at the Veulta. The 21-year-old tasted victory at the GP Prato last weekend but it just remains to be seen whether 266km is too far for a man of his youth and with just two team-mates in support.
7 - 3:25 is the gap from the seven leaders to the five counter-attackers with the peloton, led by Germany, the USA and Britain, at 4:10.
7.5 - Italy's Luca Paolini, Simon Clarke of Australia and another Belgian Olivier Kaisen means it is a five-man counter-attack.
8 - 5:22 is the gap with eight laps to go and then a surprise attack from the peloton with Johan Van Summeren (Belgium) and France's Yoann Offredo jumping away.
8.5 - Wiggins said of Cavendish: "I think (he has the strength). He says he's in the form of his life. I supoose it just remains to be seen but if he's ever going to win (the world title), this is the course. It's the world title and it's going to take the ride of his life to win it. It always does to win a world title. It's going to need something special from him it's become a bit of a routine for him winning Tour (de France) stages he does it easy but it's going to be a lot harder than that."
9' - 5:30 is the gap now to the leaders. The 10th team we will take a detailed look at are Britain. Steve Cummings and Chris Froome have been doing plenty of work already in support of Cavendish. Jeremy Hunt and Ian Stannard likewise while Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) plus David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) will be the key support at the business end of the race. A tough finish for the Manx missile but he unexpectedly won the Milan San Remo classic in 2009 on a route of similar length.
9.5 - Dutch coach, Leon van Vliet did not think his top sprinter Theo Bos could last 260km so has gone for a team of all-rounders led by former cyclo-cross world champion Lars Boom who showed a turn of pace by winning two stages at the Tour of Britain. Rabobank team-mates Bauke Mollema, Maarten Tjallingii, Steven Kruiswijk and Pieter Weening plus Vacansoleil trio Pim Ligthart, Wout Poels and Johnny Hoogerland and Niki Terpstra (Quick Step) are in orange today.
10 - So 10 laps to go and the gap is down to 5:46. Australia do not have Tour de France champion and 2009 winner Cadel Evans nor Cavendish's HTC lead-out man Mark Renshaw in their line-up with Milan-San Remo champion Matt Goss given the chance to lead. The rest of the team is very strong: Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank-SunGard), Simon Gerrans, Mathew Hayman, Michael Rogers and Chris Sutton (Sky), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Simon Clarke (Astana) and Stuart O'Grady (Leopard-Trek).
10.5 - Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank-SunGard), Luca Paolini (Katusha), Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing), Daniel Oss and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale), Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox), Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini) and Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-ISD) complete the Italy team.
11 - Chris Froome has done a big turn on the front and the advantage is now 7:10. Italy has won 19 rainbow jerseys but a 20th today would be a surprise with Daniele Bennati leading the team although he did win a stage at the Vuelta. Damiano Cunego and Filippo Pozzato have been left out and coach Paolo Bettini says the Azzuri will not be prominant on the front of the bunch as in previous years.
11.5 - Juan Manuel Gárate, Luis León Sánchez and Carlos Barredo (Rabobank), Imanol Erviti and breakaway rider Lastras (Movistar), Vicente Reynes (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) complete the Spain team.
12 - 92km covered in just under two hours so a healthy pace with the gap for the seven leaders now back down to 7:44. Spain have three-time former winner Oscar Freire and José Joaquín Rojas leading the team. Coach Jose Luis de Santos has nailed his colours to the mast with Joaquím Rodríguez and Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez left out. Freire at 35 is on the slide but Rojas nearly won the green jersey at the Tour de France.
12.5 - Philippe Gilbert has had an incredible year with a stage victory at the Tour de France, winning three Ardennes Classics and more recently triumphing at Clásica de San Sebastián and the GP Québec. He would like a tougher parcours but will relish the uphill finish. Tom Boonen is injured so the support from the Belgian team comes from Jurgen Van den Broeck (OmegaPharma-Lotto), Klaas Lodewyck and Olivier Kaisen (OmegaPharma-Lotto), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervélo),
13 - Large presence of Brits and Germans at front of peloton with the gap to the seven leaders at eight minutes. André Greipel beat Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France this year and is their team leader but he has only won stages at the Eneco Tour since July. John Degenkolb, Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch (HTC-Highroad) will support while Danilo Hondo (Lampre), Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano), Andreas Klier (Garmin), Christian Knees (Sky) and Marcel Sieberg complete a strong team.
13.5 - France have not won the rainbow jersey for 14 years and it will be a surprise if they end that barren run today. Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel would prefer a lumpier course while their best sprinter is Romain Feillu who had five top six finishes in the Tour de France this year but is not an elite sprinter. Samuel Dumoulin and Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Blel Kadri and Anthony Ravard (AG2R La Mondiale), Yoann Offredo and Anthony Roux (FDJ) complete the line-up.
14 - The US have a clear team leader in Garmin-Cervélo's Tyler Farrar. He beat Cavendish to win stage three of the Tour de France but was forced to abandon the Vuelta after a crash. He has an inxperienced support team in Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervélo), Matthew Busche and Benjamin King (RadioShack), Taylor Phinney, Brent Bookwalter and Jeff Louder (BMC Racing) and Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale). The seven-man escape group now lead by 6:50.
14.5 - Norway only have four riders but have a double card to play in defending champion Thor Hushovd and Edvald Boasson Hagen who both seem perfectly suited to the uphill sprint finish. Remember Garmin-Cervelo's Hushovd won in Geelong last year with a team of three. Gabriel Rasch (Garmin-Cervélo) and Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky) are the men who will look to keep their favourites out of trouble.
15 - The gap is 1:52 to the South American duo with the peloton at 3:26. With this break seemingly set for the next 100km or so, I will run you through the top teams and their chances today.
15.5 - Ivan Mauricio Casas Buitrago of Colombia and Brazil's Otavi Bulgarelli are sandwiched between the escape group and the peloton. At the Worlds, riders cannot use race radios and Bradley Wiggins has said that confuses matters. "It just gets faster and faster, there's no radio, half the time it's difficult to know actually who's in the front, how many riders are in the front. They're not in trade teams so it's diffcult to see who is there, different nations, jerseys, so it's certainly unique."
16 - A seven-man break has formed which features France's Anthony Roux, Maxim Iglinksy (Kazakhstan), Pablo Lastras (Spain), Christian Poos (Luxembourg), Tanai Kangert (Estonia), Oleg Chuzda (Ukraine) and Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia). They lead the main bunch by 59 seconds. Start List (External)
16.5 - An animated opening to the race but none of the breakaway attempts have stuck yet. Although the course is quite flat, its design could prove treacherous. "The first part of the circuit is sinuous. There will be crashes and some riders could be trapped. It could affect the race, it is technical and dangerous," France coach Laurent Jalabert said.
17 - So the riders cross the finish line for the first time, 17 laps to come. Each lap will see the riders climb 105 meters in altitude with short snappy climbs at Slotsbakken, the highest point on the circuit at 59 meters above sea level, and Attermosevej.
240km - With the women’s and U-23 men’s race ending in a bunch sprint, the smart money is on another sprint finish but the uphill drag to the line could spoil Cavendish's chances. Video: Bronzini wins women's road race title
250km - "We have designed an interesting and demanding route for the road race going up Geels Bakke. We are convinced that it will be a very tough and varied World Championship in Denmark 2011," says Danish Cycling Federation´s director Jesper Worre. However the race should favour the sprinters.
260km - 45 different countries are represented today and traditionally the early stages of the World road race see some riders from the lesser nations go on the attack. True to type, the race is on to get into that early move with Croatia to the forefront.
266km - The 209 riders have set off from Copenhagen City Hall Square with a 28 kilometre stretch before 17 laps of 14km in the area north of Copenhagen in Rudersdal. Course Map (External)
09:00 - It is a lovely day in the Danish capital as the riders begin their quest for the rainbow jersey. Weather Forecast (External)
08:55 - You can watch all the action now LIVE on British Eurosport or follow on your PC or phone via the Eurosport Player. Subscribe to the Eurosport Player
08:50 - Mark Cavendish is the race favourite, it he takes the rainbow jersey he will become Britain's first men's world road cycling champion for 45 years and he admits doing so will fill him with a different feeling to reaching 20 Tour de France stage wins earlier this year. "I'm paid to win stages of the Tour de France, this is all for national pride. It's all about committing as a group of guys who don't race together, putting on the Great Britain outfit," said Cavendish. Video: Cavendish on Copenhagen
08:45 - Welcome to our coverage of the 266km elite Road Race World Championships from Copenhagen. I'm Lee Walker and I will be your guide for the next seven hours. Follow me on Twitter