By Rob Jones
Mystery disappearance - or not?
You have probably read about the Sierra Leone athletes that have gone missing - well, we have now heard that two of their cyclists are absent. What makes it interesting is that the team bought a couple of Masi bikes locally for them to race on (worth approximately AUD$6000), which the athletes have now apparently sold prior to disappearing...
Question mark over women's RR favourites
The official start lists are not yet out, but it looks like there will be 136 men and 36 women. The big speculation for the women's race is Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand). Ulmer is a favourite, but scratched from the time trial because of a back problem. Nicole Cooke (Wales), the defending champion, is also a bit of a question mark, since she was a late withdrawal from the points race and has not been seen much.
A race of attrition
While the 11 kilometre circuit is not particularly difficult, there are lots of corners and a couple of climbs per lap to make things interesting. Given that the temperature is expected to be above 30°C, this will likely be a race of attrition.