The final roster of teams has been announced for the eighth round of the women's World Cup series in Newport, Wales on Saturday August 20 with riders expected from 18 countries to tackle the three-lap, 114km course.
The British team is expected to make a strong showing on home turf, with team leader Rachel Heal tipped for a podium spot in the absence of countrywoman Nicole Cooke who has had to withdraw due to injury.
"If the home support is anything like it was at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, it will be a great experience," says Heal.
However, Heal and the British women will have to defeat the mighty Nurnberger team, who will be aiming to strengthen 2004 World Cup champion Oenone Wood's lead in the series. With world champion Judith Arndt, German ace Trixi Worrack and former Australian champion Olivia Gollan on the team, Nurnberger looks very very hard to beat.
They will nevertheless be put under pressure by Buitenpoort-Flexpoint with Sweden's double world champion Susanne Ljungskog and Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel of the Netherlands both keen for a win. The Buitenpoort-Flexpoint duo are second and third respectively in the World Cup standings. Ljungskog is just 19 points behind Wood, so a win in Newport would put her in the series lead, though with three rounds to go after Newport and double points for the final in Germany next month, the series would still be wide open.
Teams for Newport World Cup: Equipe Nurnberger, Van Bemmelen-AA Drink, Elk Haus-Tirol Noe, Nobili Rubinetterie - Menikini Cogeas, Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T Interim, PMB Fenixs - Daccordi, Buitenpoort-Flexipoint, Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan, Great Britain national team, Raleigh-ERV, Belgian national team, Canadian national team