Games of the 30th Olympiad, London 2012
womenís road race is set to be one of the closet fought races in the
modern history of professional womenís racing. The course in unlikely to
trouble to top riders and the fast run into the finish should be set for a
spectacle of womenís sprinting.
any mechanical issues and any breaks controlled, you can expect to see the
lead out trains of no less than seven on the top sprinters teams.
a break goes, it is likely to go on the first ascent of Box Hill. If the
break is not successful, it will serve to break up the peloton and remove
the lesser riders. If all goes
to plan for the top teams, you can expect a full charge to the line from 3km
out. With the advantage of 4
riders, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, USA and Italy have the better
chances of a medal.
most experienced team for leading out a rider has to be Germany. They will
be hoping, that Ina-Yoko
Teutenberg can add a missing
medal to her tally. Teutenberg, on her best day is the Cavendish of the
womenís peloton. Both trained by Eric Zabel, when they were with HTC
Highroad. She knows how to position herself and time her sprint perfectly.
The team has one of the quickest women, in Judith Arndt (2012 World
Time Trial champion) for their lead out, along side, her is Charlotte Becker
and Trixi Worrack. Until this season they have all ridden together on the
same professional team for many years.
German team do have a secondary sprint card to play. As shown last week in
the tough Thuringen Rundfahrt, Worrack won the bunch sprint having been led
out by Teutenberg.
one can discount a win from the Dutch team. They also have a number of cards
to play. The obvious top contender for a medal is Marianne Vos. At 25, is
one of the few riders who has beaten Teutenberg in a sprint this year. Vos
wants an Olypmic medal on the road to match her gold medal from Beijing in
the points race.
has one of the best tactical minds in the peloton and she knows how to win.
She is not afraid to go it alone. She can climb, although Box Hill is not an
Italian mountain. She knows how to leverage her team to out-smart the best
riders. If it isnít the right day for Vos, every member of the team knows
how to win. 2011 World Cup winner Annemiek van Vleuton, despite crashing and
breaking her collar bone in the recent Giro Donne, is strong and in the best
form of her career. Dutch time trial champion Eleonora van Dijk and Omloop
Het Nieuwsblad winner Loes Gunnewijk.
world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) can never be discounted.
This season has not been her best.
She has suffered several crashes and injuries, but the Italian team,
know how to prepare for a major race. Bronzini has the support of a strong
team with former world road champion, Tatiana Guderzo, Noemi Cantele and
Monia Baccaille are all options,
each one capable of getting in a break and putting themselves in with a
chance of a win.
British team will be under immense pressure. Defending Olympic champion
Nicole Cooke has not shown any real winning. Although, Cooke knows how to
prepare for a major race (2008 World road champion after Beijing), she has
not raced since the Giro Donne in late June/July. The expectation is that
she will form the second option for Team GB behind Lizzie Armitstead.
At 23, Armitstead is
supported by lead-out rider Lucy Martin from her professional team.
The final member of the team is Armitsteadís other team mate, Emma
Pooley. Although Pooley is
focussed on the individual time trial, she can attack solo. So Team GB do
have back up options.
only having 3 in the team, Swedenís, Emma Johansson canít be discounted.
Johanssonís taken out ample victories over the last four years since
Beijing, where she took silver behind Cooke.
Johansson is joined by Emilia Fahlin and Isabelle Soderberg.
are a couple of other teams that have potential winners.
Chloe Hosking at 21, could if she gets in the right position upset things.
The whole team, Hosking, Shara Gillow and Amanda Spratt are at their first
Olympics. Hosking has been
learning from the sprint queen, Tutenberg for 3 years, turning down an
opportunity with the Australian professional team Orica-AIS this year to
continue to work with the German sprint ace and learn from her.
Finally, USA have the relatively unknown Shelly Olds in their mix. Olds, started on the track before moving full time to the road in 2009. Olds has grown in confidence this year. An early season crash forced her to rethink her plans but recent good form in the Giro Donne showed she can mix it with the best. Olds has a strong team, Kirsten Armstrong, Amber Neben and Evelyn Stevens can all take opportunities to attack.
Interviews with Lucy Martin (GBR) and Amanda Spratt (AUS) before the event.
Road Race 140km Mall
Time Trial 29 km Hampton Court
BMX Olympic Part
Mountain Bike Hadley Wood
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