Warwick > Warwick 109.4km
The women’s road race is early on Sunday morning, it’s going to be an early alarm call for those taking part. It’s a flat circuit, one that suits riders with a lot of grunt.
Nice and sunny.
The women do seven laps of the circuit, it’s not a particularly challenging one.
The race looks set to be a straight fight between England and Australia.
Australia – Roy, Roseman-Gannon, Manly, Chapman, Brown, and Baker.
England – Smith, Nelson, Lowden, Leech, Henderson, and Barnes.
I would say there’s a clear imbalance between the two squads, Australia look far superior to me. All their squad races at the highest level, and they are all very strong riders. England, despite being the second strongest team, are quite a way short of the Aussies.
Australia will dictate the type of race we get, they’ll want to get a group away that has lots of their riders, and only one or two from England. This will allow them to rotate the attacks and put England under pressure, before launching the race winning move. They have the options to win solo and from a sprint.
Australia – all six of their team can win gold, it really is an incredible looking squad. The team manager will have decided on a hierarchy within the team, they need someone to set tempo in the opening laps. I would think that Manly and Brown will be their trump cards, both are a level above most others in this race. Manly has the sprint required to win from a reduced group, Brown has shown on many occasions that she is an exceptional attacker, following up her gold in the TT with gold in the road race would be special.
Anna Henderson – by far the strongest English rider, she’s the one Australia will be worried about. She performed very well in the TT, taking silver, and putting up a good fight against Grace Brown. Still just 23, she’s progressed significantly this year, but coming up against such a strong team will make it very difficult for her to win the gold medal.
Lizzie Holden – the Isle of Man rider should be one of the strongest in the race. She’s performed well this season, netting top 10 results in the Belgium Tour and Thüringen. She should be challenging for a medal.
Niamh Fisher-Black – the young Kiwi is a star of the future. She would prefer a hilly route, but still has the power required to challenge for a medal.
Elynor Bäckstedt – another star of the future. Just 20 years old, Bäckstedt is a sensational athlete. She’ll be riding for Wales and would love to take home a medal, but it’s going to be hard against the level of riders in this race.
Alison Jackson – the Canadian is a strong rider with a fast finish, but she’s likely to be put under pressure by the stronger nations.
Australia to dominate and Grace Brown to take home another gold medal.