Gallery: On the start line of the women's Olympic road race

After yesterday’s tense affair in the men’s Olympic cycling road race it was the turn of the women to take centre stage on the Mall in central London. Competing over a shorter 140 kilometre course, with two ascents of Box Hill, a super competitive field lined up under thunderous skies at the start of the race.

Defending champion Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) was a dark horse to repeat her win from Beijing, while strong teams from the Netherlands, Sweden, USA, Canada, Italy and Australia also had plenty of options for either a break or a mass bunch sprint.


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