Retired top Dutch sprinter Jean-Paul Van Poppel will be bring his Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team to Wellington for the March 2-4 Women's Tour of New Zealand and March 6 World Cup, headlining a very strong field for the second race in the series. Van Poppel, who won the green jersey in the 1987 Tour, will direct the team led by his wife Mirjam Melchers, with two-time world road champion Susanne Ljungskog, Tanja Hennes-Schmidt and Dane Linda Serup completing the line up.
Race director Jorge Sandoval was full of praise for Van Poppel and his team. "To have someone like him in New Zealand is really neat and a real privilege," Sandoval said. "Even though he stopped racing 10 years ago he's still very famous. He was a hero to a lot of cyclists and now he's running this team which he partly owns. It'll be great to have him here."
Apart from Buitenpoort-Flexpoint, the field will also include World No. 1 Judith Arndt and her equally powerful Nürnberger team. Arndt confirmed her entry earlier this week, and will certainly be among the favourites. In addition, Sandoval announced that national teams from Japan, Germany and Indonesia have confirmed their participation for next month's races.