Cyclingnews' Kristy Scrymgeour, who raced here a couple of times herself as a pro with Saturn, caught up with some of the contenders for today's Wachovia Liberty Classic women's race
Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile)
"I hope I'm ready.
"I don't know, it's kind of different because I've never raced for myself at this race. So it will be different type of racing on Sunday. I've been winning a lot of races, but it's still different when the pressure is on.
"It's short this year. It's different than the years I was a worker - it was six laps. It was more about fitness at the end, but with 85km I think a lot of people can come to the end that probably wouldn't in a World Cup race.
"It's also dangerous at the start - a lot of local girls at the start. I'll stay out of trouble at the start and then hopefully we can ride up the wall a little faster and split it up.
"We start at nine and will be done after two and a half hours, so I don't think the heat will affect us much. I think it will be the last time up the wall - that a little group will form out of that.
" The team has been good so far this year - now we are finally starting to click together. Rebecca has been stepping it up, and everyone has been riding up to their abilities. Now we have Katie [Mactier] on the team so we will see what happens.
"The Aussies, like Wood - she has been racing well, winning so much. Judith is always a factor - such a strong break rider."
Katie Mactier (T-Mobile)
"I just arrived last Friday. We have yet to sit down and have a team meeting. I've been following the girls' progress throughout the year.
"I've only been here for three hours, and it's good. I mean you walk in to a team environment and you can tell right away if it's good or not - the girls seem to be very happy and Andrzej [Bek, T-Mobile directeur sportif] is the perfect director. I was with him in 2003 when I was with Saturn. I love coming to the States - I've been with Ina [Teutenberg] before and she is possibly one of the best people I have worked with on a team - she is just an incredible asset to a team.
"I would imagine she is one of the favorites for Sunday. If it comes together at the end I would imagine we would be working for her.
"It's interesting because I climbed all right back in 2003. But when you do big blocks on the track the legs tend to get kind of... it's equivalent to doing a lot of gym work. But I'm hoping to find those hill climbing legs again. I certainly felt the effects in Boulder the first few days!
"We've got the Commonwealth games next March and following that are the track worlds in Bordeaux, so I would like to take a little bit of time off around September, and then I will be working very specifically towards the pursuit and once again look forward to coming back to the States in 2006 and doing some road. But the big goal will be China in 2006.
"You have to do it. If you look at riders like Bradley McGee and the people that are making marks on the track are coming off of big road blocks."
Oenone Wood (Nurnberger Versicherung)
"I haven't seen the circuit yet. I'm sure we'll be having a look at in the next couple of days. We've got a great team going there so we have every chance of having a great result."
Erinne Willock (Webcor)
"The crowd is awesome going up the climb and the adrenalin gets going.
"Usually it comes down to a field sprint because it's relatively short for a women's race even though the hill is difficult. It's the descent afterwards that brings it back together again. Last year I got QOM, that's what I went after and that's what I got. I don't know what the plan is for this year because right now we're focused on finishing the Grand Tour!"
Laura Van Gilder (Quark)
"I'm always nervous for that race. It's a big race. People have been telling me I can win because Petra is not here this year, but it's not that easy. There are some very strong teams out there and a lot of girls who can win. Tina Pic, Oenone Wood, Judith Arndt, Gina Grain and of course Ina Teutenberg. She is riding so well at the moment and in the past she has always been working for other people. She also had a strong climbing team. It's going to be exciting. I love that type of racing."
Gina Grain (Victory Brewing)
"The racing last weekend was a good start to intensity. I've rested and tried to heal and hopefully I got some speed back in my legs. That's all I can do. [Despite the setback Grain says she is going to go into the race with confidence.] Sprinting is a combination of strength and a bit of luck as well. I know the course and the finish. Its just a matter of getting up the hill in the first group. I know where I have to be in the sprint. There are a lot of good contenders and the faster the better."
Melissa Sanborn (Subway)
"I gained a little confidence in Montreal. I just have to be patient. I feel confident I can get up the wall. It will be all about positioning and picking the right wheels at the end."