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1st Geelong World Cup - CDM

Australia, March 2, 2003

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The top five ranked female cyclists from last year's World Cup will race in the Geelong World Cup on March 2 and the Geelong Women's Tour, which leads into it on February 23-25. 2003 World Cup champion Petra Rossner will lead the way, captaining her new Nürnberger outfit. Rossner based herself in Sydney in the lead up to the event, racing at Heffron Park in Maroubra.

Last year's runner up, Mirjam Melchers, will also be back in Australia hoping to start her season on a strong note. In addition, Germany's Regina Schleicher, Swiss Priska Doppmann and Australian Rochelle Gilmore will all be present in Geelong. The five will form part of a large contingent of international cyclists currently preparing in Geelong for both races.

The Power Plate Bik team is expected to mount a strong challenge, containing 2003 BMC Software Australian Women's Road Cyclist of the Year, Sara Carrigan (22) and recent winner of the Geelong Bay Series and the individual pursuit in the Track World Cup in Moscow, Katherine Bates (20). The team also includes New Zealand's Kirsty Robb (23), Norwegian rider Anita Valen (34), and Dutch pair Andrea Bosman (23) and Sharon van Essen (21).

The American T-mobile team arrived in Victoria from New South Wales, where they competed in the Cooma-Snowy Women's Cycle Classic. The team includes Sydney Olympic silver medallist and 2001 world road time trial champion Mari Holden (31), and Kimberley Bruckner (32), winner of the 2001 Tour de Snowy and the current US road time trial champion.

The Geelong World Cup will get underway at 1.00pm on Sunday March 2nd. The riders will contest 18 laps of a testing circuit with the start/finish on the Eastern Beach foreshore. Racing action will be broadcast to a big screen near the finish line to keep spectators up to date.

Cyclingnews will also be providing full coverage of the race, which is the first World Cup road race of the year.

Local Road Closures

The Geelong World Cup will be conducted on fully closed roads with details of the road closures being advertised through local media. "All businesses along Waterfront Geelong and in the central city area will open as usual, giving spectators an opportunity to combine the race with a day's shopping or a relaxing restaurant meal," City of Greater Geelong Councillor, Shane Dowling said.

Waterfront Geelong, Brougham and Moorabool Streets will be closed in stages on Sunday March 2 for the Geelong World Cup. All roads of the course and within the course will be closed to all traffic from 10.30am Sunday with restrictions along Waterfront Geelong from Saturday. The roads will reopen from 4.00pm on Sunday. Motorists should use McKillop St as an alternative route to get across town.

Tow away zones will apply on the race course from 5.00am on Sunday morning through to 4.00pm Sunday afternoon.