The women's road race at the 2010 World Championships is bound to spark interest amongst spectators; it isn't often that we see women of such a high calibre racing in Australia.
The women's road race is a circuit styled course, they will ride 127.2km circuit and complete the course 8 times. The course is in similar style to that of the men’s road race without the lead in from Melbourne to Geelong.
The course will suit a rider who can be a jack-of-all-trades on the day, before the most significant climb of the day that concludes on The Ridge, riders come into the climb from a very sharp right hand turn, it will suit riders with strong technical ability; this turn should not be underestimated as easy.
The second climb of the day reaches its peak at Aphrasia St, it is shorter and sharper than the first, expect to see the sprinters fall back in the last couple of laps. After Aphrasia St the race is on for one and all, expect a fast descent down Pakington Street, the right turn into Glenleith Avenue and The Esplanade is where the action will be, the peloton will reorganise itself here before the finish in Moorabool St.
Fierce competitors to watch out for include Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, already this year she holds the title of UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion, Dutch National Road Race Champion and winner of the 2010 Women’s World Cup. Vos has placed 2nd two years in a row now, back in 2006 she took the title of Road Race World Champion and is worthy of the win in 2010. The Netherlands will be able to give their full attention to Vos as their allocation of seven riders became eight, with the inclusion of the European Champion Noortje Tabak.
Annemiek Val Vleuten and the Dutch Champion Loes Gunnewijk will join team mates Vos and Tabak, along with Kirsten Wild who is a favourite to win if it finishes in a bunch sprint. Regina Bruins will double it up in the road race and the time trial, she already rides for the world’s number one team, the Cervélo Test Team and there is no doubt that she will be racing with heart and soul at the world championships.
The current World Champion Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) has had a few podium finishes this season, the most significant of the placing’s was her win at the Italian National Road Championships, Guderzo placed 3rd in the General Classification at the Giro d’Italia Donne earlier this year where Mara Abbot of the United State of America took first place.
27 year old, British rider, Emma Pooley, has a string of podium finishes in first place this season; Pooley has added British National Road Race Champion and Time Trial Champion to her list of accolades this season. Team up Pooley and the current British National Road Race Champion, Nicole Cooke, and they could be formidable; Pooley stripped Cooke of the British National Road Race Championship title, Cooke had held the title for a staggering nine years.
Judith Arndt of Germany was the World Champion in 2004 and at 34 years old she is still a strong performer, she will lead a very strong German team, with team mates, Charlotte Becker, Sarah Düster, Claudis Häusler, Luise Keller, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Trixi Worrack. Arndt season hasn’t been overly impressive, she has had only three wins this season compared to team mate Teutenberg who has racked up a staggering 16 wins.
The Australian team will be led by Ruth Corset, our biggest hope amongst the women for a podium finish; she’ll be backed up by Bridie O’Donnel and Vikkie Whitelaw who add years of solid experience to the team. Young guns, Shara Gillow, Tiffany Cromwell and Amanda Spratt are bound to make an impact.
Without a doubt the strongest women’s teams heading to the 2010 World Championships are the Dutch and German teams, the British women should not be underestimated, I would suspect to seea mixture of the following women on the podium; Vos, Teutenberg, Wild, Cooke, Pooley and Tabak.
Many of the women will double it up in the road race and the time trial; to see the hard women of racing, head to Geelong on Saturday 2nd of October for the road race.
Photo: Marianne Von (NL) 2009 UCI Womens Road Championships silver medalist © Cindy Trossaert