TASMANIAN cyclist Cameron Wurf admits that he has one eye on the world championships as he nurses his injured body through the final stages of the Vuelta a Espana.
The Hobart 30-year-old suffered a broken rib in a fall earlier in the three-week grand tour and with just five stages left before the finish in Madrid is keen to keep his place in the Australian team for the road world titles in Italy beginning on Sunday weeknts22ndnte.
Coming off the tour's final rest day, Wurf said he was not enjoying being unable to contribute to his Cannondale team as much as he would like.
``I guess I am realising the hard way that I am human and have certain limits [and] in these past couple of days simply surviving has been my limit,'' he said.
``I am on the long list for the world championships and representing my country is always an incredible honour.
``I know simply finishing the Vuelta is the best possible training for worlds and I want to be ready should I make the final nine for the road race.''
He added: ``Racing with a limited supply of oxygen will ensure when I recover that I am in much better condition. I will be fully recovered in a couple of weeks so in plenty of time to be ready for worlds. I simply have to suffer a little more than expected for another five stages here in Spain.''
Wurf sits 87th overall in the Vuelta and will ride a one-day race in Tuscany before the worlds after which he has the Tour of Lombardia around Lake Como followed by the Tour of Beijing on his way back to Tasmania.
With Wes Sulzberger still recovering from the broken collarbone and fractured elbow he suffered in stage four, the Flowery Gully 26-year-old is unlikely to feature in Australia's final team for the worlds but Hadspen's Richie Porte can expect a busier time following the news that Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Simon Gerrans has been forced to pull out with a hip injury.
Porte, 28, who stayed in the US following the Pro Challenge for an altitude camp in Colorado with his Sky teammate and TdF champion Chris Froome, expects to contest both the time trial and road race in Florence.
His former Praties teammate Will Clarke, 28, of Campbell Town, is also in North America this week riding the GP Cycliste de Quaacébec and Montraacéal.
Clarke finished the five-stage Tour of Alberta in 108th while Launceston's Clay Murfet was 25th and sixth in the young rider classification.