By Mitch Friedman
The women's World Cup series crosses the Atlantic to Canada this weekend for its seventh round in Montréal on May 28. It is followed by the four-day Tour du Grand Montréal stage race, the combination guaranteeing that plenty of the world's top female racers will make the trip across.
The Montréal World Cup, now considered a classic, is known as a course to be reckoned with. The parcours is unchanged since 1999, and so the start and finish line will once again be located at the top of the Camilien-Houde climb, which concludes at the summit of the magnificent Mont-Royal course. The race will take in a grueling 12 circuits of the 8.35 km lap for 100 km total.
Australian sprinter Oenone Wood (Nurnberger Versicherung) currently leads the women's world cup by a nine-point margin over the Netherlands' Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Buitenpoort - Flexpoint). While Wood will be in Montréal to defend her lead, the hilly course may not suit her and victory seems more likely to go to a climbing specialist. American Amber Neben demonstrated her climbing prowess at the recent Tour de l'Aude and is a rider to watch, as is local heroine and defending champion Genevieve Jeanson (ACDA-Rona) who also won here in 2003.
Tour du Grand Montréal stages
Stage 1a - May 30: Lachine ITT, 3.5km
Stage 1b - May 30: Petite Italie criterium, 50km
Stage 2 - May 31: Rigaud road race, 120.2km
Stage 3 - June 1: Terrebonne circuit race, 80km
Stage 4 - June 2: Mont-St-Hilaire, 114.55km
Teams and Riders
Not all riders and teams will ride both events.
ACDA-Rona: Genevieve Jeanson, Magen Long, Kelly Benjamin, Cathrine Walberg
Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team: Suzanne Ljungskog, Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel, Linda Serup, Amber Neben
Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung: Oenone Wood, Judith Arndt, Olivia Gollan, Madeleine Lindberg, Regina Schleicher, Anke Wichmann
Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan: Rochelle Gilmore, Alessandre Grassi, Miyoko Karami, Gessica Turato
Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini Cogeas: Joanne Kiesanowski, Edita Pucinskaite, Olga Slyusareva, Sigrid Corneo, Daniella Fusar Poli, Anna Gusmini
Team S.A.T.S: Rachel Heal, Trine Hansen, Melissa Holt, Dorte Lohse Rasmussen
ELK Haus-Tirol Noe: Andrea Graus, Christine Mueller, Patricia Hempel, Monika Schachl
Colombian national team: Ana Paola Madrinan Villegas, Milerlandy Agudelo, Monica Lorena Mendes Ortiz, Maroa Luisa Calle Williams
Canadian national team: Kristen Robbin, Anna Tratnyek, Kylie Case, Jenny Trew, Suzanne Macht, Lisa Sweeney
Quark: Annette Beutler, Helen Kelly, Grace Fleury, Audrey Lemieux, Kate Sherwin, Amy Moore
Ellicyle Sport Expert-Louis Garneau: Lyne Bessette, Joanie Caron, Genevieve Gagnon, Lisa Sweeney, Jacqueline Mourao
Velo Bella: Gabriella Gonzalez-Ferrat, Jennifer Chapman, Jill McLaughlin, Barbara Howe, Hiroko Shimada, Melodie Metzger
Colavita-Cooking Light: Susan Palmer-Komar, Kim Anderson, Michelle Beltran, Dotsie Cowden, Rebecca Larson, Christina Peick
Diet Cheerwine: Juile Belanger, Julia Farell, Tara Ross, Leigh Hobson, Rhonda Stickle, Merrill Collins, Heather Lamson
Subway: Melissa Sanborn, Sima Trapp, Susan Weldon, Nocole Wangsgard
Biovail: Jennifer Stephenson, Rebecca Nelson, Lynn Gaggioli, Amanda Shaw, Anna Garnett, Jennifer Magur
Equipe du Quebec: Stephanie Bourbeau, Caroline Montigny, Elisa Gagnon, Marie-Pier Bedard, Carline Theberge, Kathy St-Laurent, Julie Hutsebault
Composite International: Helena Coney, Dulce Pliego Moreno, Ashley Robenson, Marielle Aunave