The greatest ever field for a women’s criterium staged in the UK will assemble in central London tomorrow, as 100 of the world’s top riders race for victory in the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix.
World and Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos tops a world-class field featuring the first three from last year’s inaugural race, including defending champion Laura Trott who will join her Wiggle Honda teammates to race on the flat, fast 1.3-mile circuit around St James’s Park.
“I’m really excited to be racing at the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix again – having such a great field to compete against will be amazing. It means that this race can only get bigger," said Trott ahead of Saturday’s race.
“I peaked for the Commonwealth Games so I’m not really in the best shape to be Wiggle Honda’s team leader right now; I think we’ll probably ride for Giorgia Bronzini [2011 world road race champion] instead. This race will be completely different to the points race at the Commonwealth Games because I’ll be riding a bike with gears!"
When the race gets underway shortly after 17:00 on Saturday 9 August, the cyclists likely to attract the most attention are Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armitstead as the gold and silver medallists from the 2012 Olympic Games road race are reunited on The Mall.
Two years ago it was Vos who came out on top, and few would bet against a repeat victory for the Dutch woman who has already enjoyed one major victory in Britain this year, having won the Women’s Tour in May.
Both are in fine form. Armitstead won gold in the Commonwealth Games road race last weekend, while Vos claimed victories in La Course by Le Tour plus the latest round of the UCI World Cup in Germany over the past two weekends.
Bronzini, who was second behind Vos in the Sparkassen Giro recently, is also one of the riders to keep an eye out for. The Italian is a fine sprinter with a fast finish and she has already won races in China, Italy and Belgium this season.
Armitstead isn’t the only Glasgow medallist in action this weekend; spectators can also look out for Scotland’s Katie Archibald, who took bronze in the Commonwealth Games points race on the track when Trott claimed the gold.
With a line up like this we have no doubt that the racing will be nothing short of electric - we can't wait!
Live coverage of the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix starts on BBC2 at 17:00. and of course TWC will be there, so be sure to follow the events on the TWC Twitter too.
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