The biggest women's cycling stage race, the French Tour de l’Aude will get underway in ten days. Scheduled from May 12-22, the Tour de l'Aude parcours is planned around that French region around Carcassone, in the extreme South of the country, close to the Spanish border. The race organisers have announced that the 2005 route might leave the overall winner's identity open until the very last day, as the female peloton will finish the race on top of the ski station Mijanes-Donezan. The 21st edition of the race will depart with a 3.9 km prologue in Gruissan, for which 19 teams have been announced.
The participating teams are: Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung, Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T Interim, Team S.A.T.S., Team Pruneaux D’Agen, P.M.B. Fenixs, Nobili Rubinetterie-Menikini-Cogeas, Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team, Therme Skin Care, Van Bemmelen-AA Drink, Vrienden Van Het Platteland, Univega Pro Cycling Team-Arbö Askö Graz as well as national selection from Germany, Belgium, Canada, Spain, United States, France and New Zealand.
The favourites for this year being German Trixi Worrack (winner of the 2004 edition) as well as her teammate Judith Arndt (winner in 2003, 2nd in 2004), the Dutch teams will line up strong contenders like Sara Carrigan, Suzanne De Goede, Mirjam Melchers and Suzanne Ljungskog.