Women's Prestige Series ready to roll

The 2007 Women's Prestige Cycling Series gets under this week when it returns to the Redlands Bicycling Classic, after a one year hiatus from the event. The absence of reigning series champion Kirstin Armstrong (TEAm Lipton), who is currently recovering from knee surgery, leaves the door wide open for her rivals who will be out to get an early season advantage.

Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light may be the team to beat in 2007. Its roster includes multiple US National Champion Tina Pic and double Canadian National Champion Alex Wrubleski. Team scoring provides bonus points for riders under the age of 26, so Colavita's acquisition of Wrubleski, 23, could also prove to be decisive. However, Webcor Builders has claimed the Series team competition for two years running and will not let it go this year without a fight.

Webcor's Christine Thorburn, the 2005 Series champion, may be the early season favourite for the series individual competition. While Thornburn's arch nemesis Armstrong is sidelined she is likely to be challenged by Armstrong's Lipton teammate Kori Seehafer, who finished ahead of Thorburn in the Series standings last year and is a logical choice as the team leader at Redlands in Armstrong's absence.

The Women's Prestige Cycling Series, which began in 2004 with the goal of highlighting women's racing, is comprised of four rounds including Nature Valley Grand Prix, the International Tour de 'Toona and the CD&P Bermuda Grand Prix in addition to the season-opening Redlands event.

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