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Women's World Cup in Castilla y Leon

By Kristy Scrymgeour

With round 5 of the Women’s World Cup Series causing quite a stir in the leaderboard two weeks ago, round six is set to be a battle. Zoulfia Zabirova (Bigla) took the win on the day in Berne, but it was winner of round four, Nicole Cooke (Univega) who had enough points at the end of the day to take the series lead from Ina Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile). Currently in second position behind Cooke, is two-time World Cup series champion Oenone Wood (Nürnberger).

The course in Spain finishes with five very tough finishing circuits in the town of Valladolid. After 90km of racing the women hit the finish line for the first time and see five, 7.3km laps to go. The laps are technical city laps with a very tricky downhill. The loop climbs steeply to the finish and will suit the climbers in the bunch. Favourites would be Cooke, Judith Arndt (T-Mobile), Oenone Wood and Trixi Worrack (Nürnberger) among others.

Last year a group of four including Arndt, Susanne Ljungskog (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint), Tatiana Guderzo (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo) and Nicole Brändli (Team Bigla) escaped in the final laps and held their lead until the end. Ljungskog won from Arndt and took the overall series lead from Wood.

Arndt comes straight from winning three stages and the overall at Gracia Tour in the Czech Republic and has the form to do some damage, whilst Cooke held onto her Fleche Wallonne form to win the very hilly Souvenir Magali Pache time trial in Switzerland last week edging out her teammate Priska Doppmann and Zabirova.