Five of the world's top ten ranked women will compete at the opening round of the UCI Women's World Cup in Geelong on Sunday, February 24. It will be the sixth time the annual series opens in the Australian city. Starting along the Geelong waterfront, racers will contest eight laps of a tough 15km circuit for a total of 120km.
World ranked number three rider and 2004 World Champion, Judith Arndt, will lead the charge for Team High Road. She'll be joined by newly crowned Australian road race Champion Oenone Wood and 2006 Geelong World Cup winner and tenth-ranked Ina Teutenberg.
Ranked number six in the world, Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung's Edita Pucinskaite of Lithuania comes into the event on the back of a 2007 season that saw her win the women's Giro d'Italia for the second straight year. Sweden's Susanne Ljungskog (Menikini - Selle Italia) is a two-time World Champion (2002 and 2003) who returns to Geelong for the fifth year running. Ljungskog last year won the Tour de l'Aude in France.
The stellar line up of talent also includes reigning Olympic Champion Sara Carrigan, who will race in the Lotto-Belisol Ladies Team with 1992 Olympic Champion, Kathryn Watt. 2006 time trial World Champion and three time US Champion Kristin Armstrong and 2005 time trial World Champion Karin Thurig, from Switzerland will line up for the Cervelo-Lifeforce team.
Webcor Builders Team is sending a champion line up including Canada's reigning road and time trial Champion Gina Grain, 2006 dual Canadian Champion Alex Wrubleski and 2006 World Championship bronze medallist, American Christine Thorburn.
Australia will be well represented with a national team and five regional teams entered boasting 2006 Australian road Champion, Katie Mactier, 2007 triple Junior World Champion Josephine Tomic and 2007 Australian time trial Champion Bridie O'Donnell.
The World Cup opener follows the three-stage Geelong Tour running February 21-22.