Startline quotes from the women's Worlds road race

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France):

"I'm feeling OK. I had a bit of a cold in the last few days but I've tried to recover as best as possible, and now we'll just see what happens. When you've won a World title a few weeks before, of course there's attention but you just have to relax. There's so much confidence though after our win yesterday in the U23 race, and we want to keep the momentum and feeling going. As for my biggest rival today, that's Lizzie Armitstead. For me she is a favourite."

Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain):

"I'm just feeling ready and excited to go. It's been a long wait since the team time trial, but I'm feeling confident. At the end of the day this is just another bike race. The preparation has been perfect and I'm in the best shape possible. It's now down to just how the race goes. There weren't any major surprises from the earlier races in terms of how they played out, but we know that every race is different. We might not read too much into the races we've seen before. As for the weather, I think it's perfect. We want the weather to be bad."

Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand):

"We've a small team, but it's a bit of a powerful team too. I've ridden with Linda all year and we know each other so well. We've done a lot of Worlds together before but we'll just see how it goes. I'm excited, but being a three-woman team we don't have to control the race. We'll be looking to find some opportunities and then take them. My role will be to stay with Linda for as long as possible. She has the legs, so if I can look after her that would be great. Anything is possible. She has the form, and I think that this is a really god course for her."

Linda Villumsen (New Zealand):

"It's been a crazy week with not too much sleep, but there's been a little bit of training and then some hanging out in the hotel. I've kept focus because I knew that the Worlds didn't end with the time trial. Everyone is still focused and the team are ready, so I'm not going take that away from the other girls. Today is another day, though and the course is different, the weather is different but I hope it's a hard and fast race."

Giorgia Bronzini (Italy):

"I'm feeling good and I'm confident with the team. We have a number of options, and the Italian team is ready to ride together, as we always do. It's going to be an interesting race. We learnt a lot from the road races we've seen already this week, and this could be a final for a sprinter or a break as the French guy showed. Women's racing is unpredictable, so you just don't know if it's going to be a sprint or not. There's a number of situations and the weather could be key as it could split the race with crashes. I don't like the rain, I don't like it at all, but we must just race with whatever conditions we have and do our best."

Joelle Numainville (Canada):

"The climbs are so back-to-back, I think it's going to be really hard. I think like the U23 race it's gong to be very hard. But that's good. I don't think it's going to be a big field sprint. I think it will be a small group and kind of one by one. I hope it doesn't [rain]. That could be a real shit show with the cobbles. But if it stays like this it could be could. I think it's the kind of race where you cannot hide with that kind of the finish. The girl who wins today is going to be the best one, for sure. So I think it's a good time to show who's in form, and the best is going to win."

Tayler Wiles (USA):

"We're really excited and really confident. Having Worlds in America is a huge boost for us. We're really motivated to bring it home. We're not worried about [the rain]. If it happens it happens, but we race in the rain all the time so it's alright. Rain usually can make a breakaway stick easier because it's harder to chase and go hard around the corners, so it's definitely going to affect the race, for sure. Megan Guarnier has shown this year that she can win any kind of race on any kind of conditions, so I think we're pretty confident."

Lauren Komanski (USA):

"I feel good. I'm excited to be a part of this team and I'm excited to race today. I think you get a couple bonus watts from [racing at home] and an extra gear that you didn't know you had, which is nice."

Ronny Lauke (Assistant director for Germany):

"The riders are confident. It's kind of a Classic, and it's raining. The girls like it because they think it increases their chances. But we'll see what the race is going to answer. I have watched a little bit from the junior race now, but I expect that if you want to be good at the end then you need to hide, of course, at the main part of the race.

"The top favourites for me are Armitstead and Guarnier. With their character of racing they can do those climbs, they can sprint, they can win from big groups, they can win solo. Either way is possible. I see them both highly up there making the most amongst them. But we'll see if we can interfere in that.

"That is our ultimate goal, that we leave our imprint on the race. Then we can say we tried everything. We'll see what the outcome was and if it's not in our favour then we can respect whatever happens. We want to try something and use the assets we have and contribute towards an interesting race. Ride as efficient as possible to make sure we are in contention when it comes to the finish line, so we can have good chances to make a medal."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1