PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
A top class field from 18 countries is now confirmed for Newport on Saturday, August 20. The big guns from the world of women's cycling are preparing to battle it out on the tough three-lap, 114km Welsh course in this, the eighth leg of the 2005 UCI World Cup series.
A strong showing is expected from the GB team, with leader Rachel Heal particularly tipped for a place on the podium now that her fellow countrywoman Nicole Cooke has had to withdraw due to injury. Hoping to enjoy a victory in front of her home crowd, just as Canadian Genevive Jeanson did in Montreal in May, Rachel comments: "If the home support is anything like it was at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, it will be a great experience."
Acknowledged as one of the strongest women's professional teams on the circuit for many years, Team Nurnberger are set to have a strong showing in the Usk Valley. Current World Cup leader and last year's champion Oenone Wood of Australia, together with team-mate Judith Arndt (Germany) make a formidable pair, suggesting that a Nurnberger jersey could well be first over the line.
Fierce competition is expected however from Buitenpoort-Flexpoint, with Sweden's double World Champion Susanne Ljungskog and Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel of the Netherlands both keen for a win. Lying second and third respectively in the current World Cup standings, both riders have everything to play for as the series draws close to its climax in Germany this September.
The race is set to be televised by BBC TV and will be broadcast in Grandstand on Sunday, August 21. A full route description is available from the race website www.worldcupcycling.com
The weekend also includes a major new cycling participation event for all, which gives cycling enthusiasts the chance to test themselves on the roads and valleys of South Wales and takes place the day after the World Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort. There are three routes to choose from offering different distances and level of challenge, plus a fourth, family-friendly route for a gentler ride in the grounds of the Celtic Manor Resort. Entry forms and more information from www.bikewales.org
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM