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Preview - World's best to start season in Australia

Geelong World Cup 04 March 2007 and Geelong Tour, 27 February - 01 March 2007



Seven of the world's top ten individuals and the top four women's professional teams will headline a stellar line up for the opening round of the 2007 UCI Women's Road World Cup Series being raced in Geelong on Saturday March 4th from 10.30am.

Prior to the World Cup the more than 100 riders from 16 nations, including Olympic, Commonwealth and World Champions, will contest the three day Geelong Tour (February 27 to March 1), the first international stage race on the women's calendar for 2007.

Leading the charge will be the Raleigh Lifeforce Creation line-up which includes world number one and defending World Cup Series champion, Nicole Cooke from Great Britain and world ranked number ten, Switzerland's Priska Doppman. Cooke was the bronze medallist in the road race at the 2006 World Championships and the Welsh star is keen to find early season form and pick up points in her bid to add a third series win to her World Cup tally that also includes the 2003 title.

But the roster for T-Mobile will cause concern for the rest of the field as it boasts 2004 World Champion, Judith Arndt (GER) who is currently ranked fifth in the world, the 2006 Geelong World Cup winner, Ina Teutenberg (GER), ranked eighth and Canberra's Oenone Wood. Wood won the World Cup Series in 2004 and 2005, claimed gold and silver at last year's Commonwealth Games and has taken overall honours in the Geelong Tour for the past three years. T-Mobile also includes 2006 Australian Road Champion, Kate Bates and 2007 Australian Criterium Champion Alexis Rhodes.

World number three and two time World Champion (2002, 2003) Sweden's Susanne Ljungskog will race in Geelong with Team Flexpoint and Trixi Worrack (GER), ranked fourth in the world, is lining up in 2007 with Team Nürnberger.

Japan's Miho Oki has twice sprinted her way onto the podium in the Geelong World Cup, second in 2006 and third in 2004, and is hopeful of victory for either herself or one of her Menikini Gysko team mates who include Australia's Olivia Gollan and Rochelle Gilmore.

National teams from Great Britain, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany and Australia are also entered along with several Australian regional teams.

Athens Olympic Champion, Sara Carrigan, returns to international competition after taking a break from cycling in the wake of the 2006 Commonwealth Games to concentrate on her studies. She'll lead the Queensland Academy of Sport team and will be joined by 2005 Australian Champion, Lorian Graham and newly crowned Australian time trial Champion, Carla Ryan.

Sydney's Natalie Bates, the 2006 Commonwealth Games road race winner, will head the NSW Institute of Sport team.

The Geelong World Cup is being staged as a feature event of Wheels on Waterfront Geelong, a two day festival of sport and family activities (March 3 and 4), incorporating the UCI Women's Road World Cup and the Australian Triathlon Championships. Wheels on Waterfront Geelong offers the chance for the public to join in through a range of community rides (over varying distances) and triathlons being staged for everyone from the recreational peddaller to the serious cycling enthusiast.

The Geelong World Cup is proudly sponsored by the Victorian Government and the City of Greater Geelong.


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