Rhodes chasing triple

Reigning Australian women's national criterium champion Alexis Rhodes heads the women's field to contest the South Bank Grand Prix which doubles as the National Criterium Championships.

Rhodes has won the title for the past two years, and will be aiming to make it three from three this weekend. Her main challenge will come from Commonwealth Games points race silver medallist Rochelle Gilmore following her win in the inaugural Noosa women's criterium on November 3 and victory in the Oceania Games Road Race held in New Zealand recently, a feat which earned her an automatic selection to the 2008 road World Championships in Varese, Italy.

Gilmore's win in Noosa was all the more impressive after being confined to bed for the week prior suffering the flu and the effects of jet-lag after travelling home from Europe.

"My expectations weren't high at all in Noosa so I was quite surprised but I've been back training I am hoping I can put in another good performance and give myself every chance to grab the title," said Gilmore.

"It's really important that we support these women's events in Australia. Like the men we have some of the best female cyclists in the world. I'd like to acknowledge how appreciative we are to the event organisers," added Gilmore.

After getting her wisdom teeth removed just two day prior to the Noosa criterium, which forced her withdrawal, Sara Carrigan will line up for the championships this weekend.

"It wasn't a nice experience getting them out and I was really disappointed about missing the event at Noosa but I'm back on track again and looking forward to the races, especially on our home turf," said Carrigan, who is the defending Olympic road race champion.

Australian Lorian Graham showed just how determined and gutsy she is making the Australian Team for this years road racing championships in Germany and will again line up at South Bank where she made first return to professional racing last year since the accident in Germany.

The women face a 30 minutes plus three laps around a tough circuit in the café district of South Bank in Brisbane. The program also features the elite men's championships where 60 of Australia's best cyclists are expected to fight for the title.

The South Bank event is the first leg of the Grand Prix Series with the final race in Surfers Paradise on Sunday 9 December.

For more information visit the South Bank Grand Prix official website.

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