Dutch woman Mirjam Melchers-van Poppel, the winner of two editions of the women's Ronde van Vlaanderen will return to the race this year after sitting out the 2007 edition due to injuries. The Team Flexpoint rider will lead her squad for the fifth edition of the event, which is also the third race of the World Cup.
Team director Jean-Paul van Poppel selected a strong group of women to ride alongside Melchers, with fellow Dutch riders Saskia Elemans, Loes Gunnewijk and Loes Markerink being joined by Norwegian Anita Valen-de Vries and American Amber Neben.
The women's race starts at 1100 CET from Oudenaarde for a total of 114 kilometres of racing, taking in many of the famous bergs which make up the men's race.
See also Cyclingnews'full coverage of the women's Ronde van Vlaanderen.