Wood leads the battle with four rounds to go
By Kristy Scrymgeour
After what seems like a two month hiatus from major women's racing on the International circuit due to the cancellation of the Route de France Féminine and the sad accident in Germany, which turned the Thüringen Rundfahrt into more of a memorial ride, the women will be lining up again this weekend for Round Eight of the 2005 Women's World Cup series.
Instigated by the fact that Wales is home to one of the World's better female riders, Nicole Cooke, it is the first time a round of the World Cup will be held across the English Channel. Newport, Wales will do the honours of hosting the race, but injury will prevent the home town hero from competing this weekend. On her personal website, Cooke expressed her disappointment of not being able to start due to the ongoing knee problem that has plagued her season for most of this year and last. "The World Cup in Newport was one of my big target races this season and I am devastated to miss racing in front of my home crowd. I had hoped my knee would recover but the medical advice is that more recuperation time is needed."
The course, which starts outside the Celtic Manor resort is a 38km loop that will be completed three times for a total of 114km. Each lap consists of two difficult climbs; the first being at Wentwood and the second being the short sharp climb of Belmont Hill. Race organizers expect big crowds to welcome women's World Cup racing to British soil.
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