Columbia-Highroad women ready for World Cup opener

Team Columbia-Highroad will take a small but strong team to the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the first...

Team Columbia-Highroad will take a small but strong team to the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the first round of the 2009 World Cup being held in Cittiglio, Italy on March 29.

"We've only got four riders taking part because we've got a lot of commitments world-wide, Ellen [Van Dijk] is taking part in the Track World's and another group of our riders is at the Redlands Classic in the USA," commented sports director Ronny Lauke.

"Both Luise [Keller] and Linda [Villumsen] are both in good shape and Kate [Bates] and Chantal [Beltman] will be there to back them up," continued Lauke. "Form-wise I'd say they're at 90 percent of their top form, but that's logical at this point in the season.

"We've had a good training camp here in Italy, we won a race last weekend with Linda, and we're ready to go."

Kate Bates commented on the upcoming World Cup event. "This is a race where anything could happen, it's always very unpredictable and tends only to be decided right at the dying end of the event. As a smaller, team we'll be going in as underdogs, so for us it'll come down to being patient and making the right move."

Columbia-Highroad for Trofeo Alfredo Binda: Kate Bates, Chantal Beltman, Luise Keller, Linda Villumsen.

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