For the eleventh year, Montreal is holding a Women’s World Cup event, on Saturday May 31. The seventh event in the World Cup series is the last race to be held before the Olympics selection rules kick in, as far as the number of riders that can represent their country.
The best cyclists, from 23 teams, are in Montreal to contest this race. The squads participating include both trade teams and national teams. Italian Fabiana Luperini with her Menikini squad will have her work cut out to defend her title. High Road is bringing a very strong squad with Word Cup leader Judith Arndt, 2005 World Champion Oenone Wood and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg who is currently ranked seventh in World Cup points.
Other women to watch are the always strong Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, second at Mt Hood, American Kristin Armstrong leading her Cervelo-Lifeforce team, New Zealander Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco), stage winner at Mt Hood.
Canada is currently ranked thirteenth in the UCI Nation Rankings and by virtue of being in the top 16, will be able to send 3 athletes for the road race. The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) is basing the athlete selection on the World Cup Standings, and Alex Wrubleski (Webcor) is pretty set in the top position. Fighting for the other 2 spots are second placed Erinne Willock (Webcor), Anne Samplonius (Canadian National Team), Sue Palmer-Komar (Advil/Chapstick), Leigh Hobson (Canadian National Team), Felicia Gomez (Aarons) and Julie Beveridge (Aarons). So what does all mean? It means that the race will be even tougher, and to top it off, rain is in the forecast.