Prestige Women's Series 2007
Prestige Cycling Series Rolls out on Thursday
Bicycle Classic is first 2007 Series event
The Women's Prestige Cycling Series rolls out this week with the return of the Redlands Bicycle Classic to the Series schedule. After a year's hiatus from the Series, Redlands is back and is featuring a new road race that makes the outcome of this Series kick-off difficult to predict. Other 2007 Series events include the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the International Tour de 'Toona and the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix.
Colavita/Sutter Home/Cooking Light may be the team to beat in 2007. Their roster includes multiple US National Champion Tina Pic and double Canadian National Champion Alex Wrubleski. Team scoring provides bonus points for riders under the age of 26, so Colavita's acquisition of Wrubleski, 23, may prove to be decisive. However, Webcor Builders has claimed the Series team competition for two years running and will not let it go this year without a fight.
Webcor's Christine Thorburn, the 2005 Series champion, may be the early season favourite for the Series Individual competition. Thornburn's arch nemesis, 2006 champion Kristin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton), is sidelined while recovering from knee surgery. Missing the Series opener will make it difficult for Armstrong to defend her title. However, Thorburn is likely to be challenged by Armstrong's Lipton teammate Kori Seehafer, who finished ahead of Thorburn in the Series standings last year and may be a logical choice as the team leader at Redlands in Armstrong's absence.
Colavita's Wrubleski is the clear favourite for the Series Best Young Rider competition. She won the young rider competitions at both the Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Tour de Toona last year, but failed to win the Series competition because she wasn't included on her team's roster for the first of those races. Joelle Numainville (ExpressCopy.com) is likely to be her primary competition, particularly since her ExpressCopy.com teammate, Erinne Willock, has "graduated" out of the young rider category.
Brooke Miller (TIBCO) was the surprise winner of the Series Sprint competition in 2006. She burst onto the national scene with her win at the Nature Valley Grand Prix's Cannon Falls Road Race, going on to claim that race's Freewheel Bike Sprint jersey. She will return to defend her crown in 2007, but is likely to be in the crosshairs of veteran sprinters such as Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) and Tina Pic (Colavita).
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