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A exciting week of Elite racing

Across the globe, Spain, Philadelphia and the Netherlands its all happening

With a week of top races this week, the main focus will be at the top race in the US, The Liberty Classic and in Spain for the 6th round of the World Cup.

Liberty Classic USA 

The women's Liberty Classic, which last year made history when the Women's peloton caught the men, starts this weekend in the US. This race brings the top female teams from around the world to Philadelphia. The women race around the same 14.4 mile circuit as the professional men and provides the best opportunity to the women to gain valuable exposure for their sponsors. The race has two hours of full coverage on national TV. 

Last year's winner, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, heads a strong HTC Columbia team. Given her recent performance in the Tour du l 'Aude and her previous success, Teutenberg has to be a favourite for the 2010 event. Europe based Noris Cycling, is the only international team to ride. Angela Hennig, their top sprinter should feature in the sprint. Like Teutenberg, Hennig had good form in France that she will want to transfer this to the US. 

The level of racing in the US is growing rapidly, in part due to the fact that a number of the teams are racing in Europe. Tibco's Booke Miller was in the mix in Europe for had a strong team in Philadelphia. Webcor includes top climbers Amber Neben and Catherine Matis who will be hoping to attack the race on the climb. Colavita/Baci pb Cooking Light and Peanut Butter & Co Twenty 12 are among the challengers and both teams include top riders. . 

Therme kasseienomloop Netherlands 

The Dutch race is the unfortunate poor cousin this weekend. The top pro-team have sent their top riders to either the Liberty Classic or the World Cup in Spain. This is an opportunity for a number of riders to gain valuable UCI points and gain valuable race experience for the less expereinced riders.  

GP Ciudad de Valladolid Spain World Cup 

The 6th World Cup starts a week of racing in Spain. The World Cup is using a brand new course, that it is an out-and-back course rather than circuits that previous World Cup races have completed. The riders will head out from Valladolid and return after completing 122km of varied and tough rolling terrain through the heart of the Spanish wine region. Given the number of short tough climbs on the course it is anticipated that a break group will head to the finish. World Cup leader Marianne Vos (Nederlands Bloeit) holds a 41 point advantage over Belgian Grace Verbeke (Lotto). Judith Arndt and Noemi Cantele head a strong HTC Columbia Team. Emma Johansson (Red Sun) rides as does a talented Cervelo Test Team, led by the talented Lizzie Armitstead. It is good to see the British team back racing after an accident in Belgium caused a  number of casualties in the team. Led by the Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke, the team also included the talented Lucy Martin. 

Team Valdarno led buy 2009 World Champion Tatiana Guderzo, will like the course. The punchy short climbs will suit the Italian. The Australian National team have been gaining valuable experience in Europe. The team is full of youth and will be in the mix. Gauss RDZ ORMU is headed by the powerful sprinter Giorgia Bronzini and Martine Bras who had early success, finishing in the top three in the first World Cup. 

Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria

Following the World Cup, the riders drive a few hours north to the Durango region. The first race Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria is 113km and is a tough race. With four circuits with a short steep climb the race heads out to two 2nd cat climbs before returning to Durango. Expect the climber to take control of this this race. 

Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira

Finally the riders start the five stage race starting 10 June, the Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira. This race is a good balance of climbing and flat sections. Team work is key in this race, it is tough and the team who is able to be consistent during this race will come out on top. 

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