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Video: 5 riders to watch in the women's road race world championship

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Marianne Vos (Netherlands) celebrates her third world title

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) celebrates her third world title
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marianne Vos (Netherlands) celebrates her first senior Worlds title in 2006

Marianne Vos (Netherlands) celebrates her first senior Worlds title in 2006
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Elisa Longo Borghini

Elisa Longo Borghini
(Image credit: Hitec Products)
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Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans)

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Emma Johannson was clearly pleased with her win

Emma Johannson was clearly pleased with her win
(Image credit: Rob Lampard)
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Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team)

Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Marianne Vos has been the commanding force in women's cycling for years, and the defending World Champion in the elite women's road race is certainly the favourite for victory at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada on Saturday, but the Dutch rider showed unprecedented vulnerability in the team time trial last Sunday when she was dropped.

Her ill-paced effort saved her, however, from a devastating crash that took down her key national teammates Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten, and she will be without their support in the road race.

With a weakened Dutch team and question marks on Vos's form, her rivals will be snapping at her heels: World Cup overall winner Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) will be ready to take advantage of any weakness.

Who else should Vos keep her eyes on come Saturday? Check Cyclingnews' top 5 riders to watch video for Saturday's top contenders.