Chris Froome will look to maximise his chances of winning Sunday's world championship road race in Tuscany by making it "the hardest race possible" for sprinters such as Peter Sagan.
A hilly 272.2km course from Lucca to Florence has thrown up one of the most unpredictable races in years, with climbers, breakaway specialists, one-day experts and sprinters all in with a chance of claiming the rainbow jersey.
Slovakia's Sagan and Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara are the bookmakers' favourites, but Froome is also eyeing victory as he bids to become the first man since Greg LeMond in 1989 to win the Tour de France and world title in the same year.
The race ends with ten laps of a 16.6km finishing circuit in Florence that contains two crucial climbs, and it is on these ascents that he hopes to drop his rivals.
"For us, the biggest thing is to try to eliminate the sprinters from the race," Froome, who is one of the best climbers in the world, said.
"I'm not going to try and hide it, I can't sprint, so for me to get a result it would have to be a really hard race, so much so that the sprinters start falling away and it is left to the less punchy kind of guys, the climbers who can ride away and try and go for a solo victory. For me, that would be the ideal scenario.
"It is a cleverly designed course. It does offer a platform for a sprinter to win it, for a climber to win it, for a breakaway specialist to win it. It should be a very aggressive race because of that."
Froome has prepared for the world championships by training at altitude in the Rocky Mountains and while his results at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado and two subsequent one-day races in Canada were underwhelming, he is happy with his form and condition ahead of the road race.
He added: "My form is good. I have done a good block of training up at altitude before coming down here.
"The world championships has been the surprising driving force for me. It hasn't been as big a goal as the Tour and, given that it is a one-day race, it is quite a gamble - it is a bit of a long shot to go for the win. I'm up for it."
Froome is joined in the British squad by Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Steve Cummings, Josh Edmondson, Luke Rowe and, crucially, Sir Bradley Wiggins.
It will be the first time the past two Tour de France winners have ridden together since the Tour of Oman in February and comes after a year in which the pair's relationship had appeared broken beyond repair.
However, Froome knows Wiggins could prove pivotal to his chances of winning and is delighted to have his Team Sky colleague working for him.
He added: "He [Wiggins] is coming here after winning the Tour of Britain and a silver medal on Wednesday at the individual time trial, so he is no doubt going really well at the moment and I definitely expect him to be there towards the closing stages of the race.
"If we need to try to make the race harder, Brad will be one of the key guys in that respect."