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Trust House Women's Tour - 2.2

New Zealand, March 2-4, 2005

Top women head for New Zealand

Preview by Kristy Scrymgeour

After a week of racing in Geelong, Australia, many of the Worlds top women’s teams head across the Tasman this week and land in New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, on the southern tip of the North Island. There the riders will contest another three-day tour followed by the second round of the World Cup Series.

A 45km criterium around Fraser Park in Lower Hutt will kick off the inaugural Trust House Women’s Tour on Wednesday and will be followed on Tuesday by a double stage day. Day two features a 117km road race from Featherton to Masterton through the Wairarapa, followed by an eight-corner crit in Masterton. Finishing off the tour with a race of truth, the riders will complete a 12km time trial starting in Scorching Bay in the Mirimar Peninsula.

On the line will be a world-class field including current World Champion Judith Arndt and her strong Nurnberger team who come straight off a win at the Geelong Tour where Oenone Wood took the win for the second consecutive year.

Up against them will be strong international teams such Tom Van Bemmelen with the Bates sisters showing their excellent form in Australia joined of course by current Olympic Road Champion Sara Carrigan, as well as the Buitenpoort-Flexpoint Team featuring Mirjam Melchers who is always a favourite and her teammate and two time Road World Champion Susanne Ljungskog. Susanne and Mirjam placed second and fourth in the Geelong Tour and will be hoping to move up the ladder a spot in this weeks tour.

Nobili Rubinetterie, Univega Pro Team, the German National team are also on the start list as well as the Australian National team with the new World Cup leader Rochelle Gilmore. In the mix will also be 11 teams from Australia and New Zealand demonstrating the growing strength in women’s cycling in the Southern hemisphere as well as the Japanese and Indonesian National teams.

Of the local girls, New Zealand’s Joane Kiesanowski who placed fourth in the Geelong World Cup last Sunday will be aiming to perform in front of her crowd, as will other local talent such as Hutt Valley based Susie Wood who placed fifth overall in the Geelong Tour.