One last race for Wood's World Cup defence

Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt preview

By Kristy Scrymgeour

In almost a repeat of the situation in 2004, Oenone Wood, this year riding for Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung, will start the final World Cup race of the series on Sunday September 11 in the team's home town of Nürnberg with a relatively good lead, but not enough to be totally sure of the overall win. Also like last year, the final round holds double points, making it that little bit harder to retain the lead.

However, apart from her teammate Judith Arndt, the only riders who can possibly move ahead of Wood in points are Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel and Susanne Ljungskog of Buitenpoort-Flexpoint. Melchers-Van Poppel was in a similar position last year when she sat second in the standings. This year she sits in third, 73 points behind Wood and Ljungskog sits in second, only 25 points down. Buitenpoort will have to go on the attack to unhinge the Nürnberger team, with Wood's sprint too good for them to risk a bunch finale.

Cyclingnews talked to Ljungskog this week, and she is looking forward to the challenge. "The world cup so far has been good for our team, we have two victories and we are in the position that we can win it, both me and Mirjam," she said. "It's always nice to have the chance of winning and we will certainly try our best. Wood is a great cyclist and if she wins it she well deserves it."

Ljunskog added that she is also looking forward to the rest of the season that includes Giro della Toscana and World Championships. "This year has been so nice and I'm really proud to be a part of Team Buitenpoort-Flexpoint. The girls and the staff work together 100% therefore we have a great atmosphere in the team."

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