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- By Marianne Werz O’Brien
The American team for the road race includes Tina Mayolo-Pic, Dede Demet-Barry,
Kristin Armstrong, Kim Anderson, Mari Holden, & Christine Thorburg. Reigning
women’s National Criterium Champion for the second straight year, Tina
Mayolo-Pic was automatically qualified for the team as the top ranked American
rider in the National Racing Calendar. 2003 has been a good year for Tina, with
wins that include the Housatonic Classic, Shelby Crit, Roswell Crit, Chris
Thater Memorial Crit, International Women’s Open and Raccoon Mountain road
race. The Peach Queen would love to have a World Championship jersey to add to
her pair of Stars & Stripes jerseys! Then there’s 2002 Montreal World Cup
winner Dede Demet-Barry. Dede already had 37 career victories coming into
the 2003 season! Unfortunately tendonitis has hampered her season, but she
still took 5th in San Fran and 2nd in September’s Giro della Toscana. An
interesting side note is that the winner of the last seven World Championships
has been on the podium at that years Giro della Toscana! Could this portend good
things for Dede? Kristin Armstrong (who, at #26, has the highest ranking of any
American woman in the World Cup), Kim Anderson and former World Champion &
Olympic Silver Medallist Mari Holden will provide strong support for the team.
Cycling legend Jeannie Longo, Magali Le Floc’h, Virginie Moinard, &
Juliette Vanderckhove will be at Worlds representing France. What can I say
about Jeannie Longo? She has been called the female Eddy Merckx, and with good
reason! Jeannie has well over 800 career victories, including 12 world cycling
championships, and Olympic Gold to her name. She won road race World
Championships from 1985 through 1989, and again in 1995. She won the time trial
World Championships from 1995 through 1997, and again in 2001. In just 2003 her
website lists 24 victories, so obviously she is a force to be reckoned with!
And Magali Le Floc’h is no slouch either! She is ranked 19th in UCI points and
32nd in World Cup.
Riding for the the Spanish team is Joane Somarriba, who is ranked 5th in UCI.
Just three weeks after Lance Armstrong joined the “five winners club” at the
TdF, Joane became a member of the very exclusive club of triple winners of le
Grande Boucle! (the women’s Tour de France) Only three women have won that
race three times! She placed 3rd in last years World Championship road race, and
3rd in this years Giro d’Italia Feminine. Is it just me or does three
seem to resonate with Somarriba? One wonders if third time is the charm, and she
can win in Hamilton?
Nicole Cooke, Charlotte Goldsmith, Rachel Heal, & Frances Newstead will
all be riding for Great Britain's Team. Nicole is absolutely on fire this year!
Her victories in the Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold, and Plouay World Cup races
clinched her the overall Women’s World Cup victory before the final race of
the series even occurred! Nicole became the first Briton ever to win the women's
World Cup, and, at 20 years of age, the youngest winner (male or female) in
World Cup history. It is safe to say that Nicole will be a marked woman in
Hamilton. The question is whether her rivals can stop her?