BikeNZ has named a six-woman contingent for week's two-day Tour of Geelong on Thursday and Friday and the UCI Women's World Cup, also in Geelong next Sunday.
Wanganui's Cathy Cheatley and an in-form Aucklander Marina Duvnjak will lead the team, which also will include Toni Bradshaw (Auckland), Brei Gudsell (Wanganui), Serena Sheridan )Nelson) and Clarissa Wilkes (Rotorua).
Cheatley, who rides for Cheerwine in the US, has returned to full training after leg surgery and is building towards the world track championships in Manchester where she hopes to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. She enjoyed an outstanding 2007 season including fourth in the Oceania Championships, fourth in the national championships, sixth in the Tour of Wellington, eighth in the Tour of Montreal and 11th in the Commerce Bank Liberty Classic in Philadelphia.
Duvnjak is the fourth ranked Kiwi on the UCI rankings and last year won a stage of the Tour of Bretagne on the way to seventh overall and was fourth in the time trial in the Tour of Prince Edward Island in Canada, finishing fifth overall. The Swift Racing Team rider also impressed in last month's national championships.
Last year's winner Nicole Cooke will miss the event, but her powerful Cervélo Lifeforce team will be back, along with Team High Road, who will feature three-time winner Oenone Wood and 2006 World Cup winner Ina Teutenberg.
BikeNZ team for Geelong Women's Tour and World Cup: Toni Bradshaw, Catherine Cheatley, Marina Duvnjak, Serena Sheridan, Brei Gudsell and Carissa Wilkes.