Lizzie Armitstead insists she is ready to push her body to the limit in order to add a World Championship road race medal to the Olympic silver she won in London last year.
The 24-year-old is Britain's lead rider for Saturday's women's road race in Tuscany where she will be supported by Katie Colclough, Nikki Harris and Lucy Garner.
Armitstead didn't ride at last year's World Championships in Valkenburg having focussed solely on the Olympic road race in London where she took silver behind Marianne Vos.
She was seventh in the road race at 2011 global gathering and ninth the year before that but, unlike previous editions, is the out-and-out leader of the British team in Italy.
And she has a fine support cast with Katie Colclough already a world champion in the team time trial in Tuscany and Garner the winner of the 2011 and 2012 junior road race crowns.
Armitstead has struggled with her health this season however but, with Olympic silver and five World Championship medals on the track, she's going all out for further success.
"It's always hard to miss a worlds," said Armitstead, who finished tenth in the team time trial with Boels Dolmans in Tuscany, Colclough winning with Team Specialized-Lululemon.
"I think this one is going to be extremely difficult from all the rumours I have heard from people who have seen the course, but I've got nothing to lose so I'm excited.
"As a rider I hope I'm one that can peak for the big days. I've been thinking about the road World Championships, it's not an ideal course for me but hopefully I can perform out of my skin and do something.
"It's been a difficult season. I've had health issues, I'm looking forward to the end of the season when I can rest and get something sorted and look forward to 2014 when I hope I will have that strong feeling back again
"At the moment I've struggled to feel good all season so it is a case of fingers crossed for the World Championships. I know the form isn't bad, if I have a good day and the race goes my way I think I can still do something.
"We are missing experienced riders but I think it's great Lucy has been given the opportunity for a big experience and I think we'll have to play the fact we have a smaller squad to our advantage, hide in the race and look for opportunities."
© Sportsbeat 2013