By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid
Many of the riders who placed in the top positions in the time trial will take the start on Saturday in the women's road race in the 2005 World Championships in Madrid. Judith Arndt (Germany), who finished fourth in the TT on Wednesday, will wear the number 1 after her great victory in the road race in Verona 2004. She had a viral problem recently, and this could well affect her tomorrow. We will see how the German performs on the Madrid circuit, but she has too strong sprinting teammates in Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Regina Schleicher, either of whom could take the gold if it does come down to a bunch sprint.
Former Grande Boucle Féminin champion Joane Somarriba, who did so well in the race against the clock and got the silver medal on the Casa de Campo course, is also a candidate for the win at the Paseo de la Castellana. Somarriba wants to retire with another medal after her brilliant career, and will have a strong team behind her.
Third in the time trial, USA's Kristin Armstrong will also start the 126km road race. Amber Neben and Christine Thorburn, both in the top 10 in the time trial, and sprinter Tina Mayolo Pic will be together with Armstrong in a seven-woman team, that looks to be very versatile on paper. Germany, Italy and the U.S. are the only three outfits that will start with seven riders. The teams with six riders include Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Lithuania, France, Spain, New Zealand, Great Britain, Poland, Belgium and Canada. Therefore, these teams will have the greatest chances of winning, considering the number of riders on the road.