The biggest races for the women's peloton have been in China this week, with the Tour of ChongMing Island stage race and World Cup. This is the sprintiest round of the World Cup, as the Island is in the middle of the Yangstze river, and the highest point is just 4.2m! The mountains point in the World Cup is when they ride up onto the bridge over to Shanghai - see Monty's previews from 2011 and 2010 to find out more, because I can't do it the justice he does, and the race website for this year's course - the biggest difference being a long tunnel section in the World Cup.
As seems traditional for this race, it was wet and windy - and the World Cup was won by the only USAian on AA Drink-Leontien.nl - Shelley Olds. It's a great victory for her - not only her first World Cup win, but she's also only recently returned to racing after crashing and breaking her wrist in the in the Trofeo Binda. This must have been especially difficult for her, after she had two big crashes last year that took her out of the Giro Donne. It's nice to see her back on the podium again!
ChongMing Island World Cup results - and see WomensCycling.net for race report and photos
1. Shelley Olds (USA) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, 03:11:51
2. Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica GreenEdge-AIS, s.t.
3. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini, s.t.
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Specialized-lululemon, s.t.
5. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren-Honda, s.t.
6. Charlotte Becker (Ger) Specialized-lululemon, s.t.
7. Liesbet de Vocht (Bel) Rabobank, s.t.
8. Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, s.t.
9. Lucinda Brand (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, s.t.
10. Mahlen Johrend (Ger) Abus-Nutrixxion, s.t.
Olds' win moves her straight into the top 5 of the World Cup rankings - however, as none of the other top 5 were racing in China, Marianne Vos still leads the World Cup by a huge margin - a very nice birthday present for her!
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank, 200 points
2. Judith Arndt (Ger) Orica GreenEdge-AIS, 139
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Homes, 86
4. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, 80
5. Shelley Olds (USA) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, 75
6. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon, 75
7. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon, 62
8. Adrie Visser (Ned) Skil-Argos, 56
9. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini, 53
10. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra) Rabobank, 52
It was also a great race for the Melissa Hoskins of Orica GreenEdge-AIS. The young Australian is focusing on the track this year, and won silver in the Team Pursuit and the Scratch races at the Track World Championships - so it's a big thing for her to get onto the podium at the World Cup, and to win the 3-day stage race.
En route to her victory, Hoskins had won stages 1 and 3, with MCipollini-Giambenini's Monia Baccaille winning Stage 2. You can find more information on the races at Women'sCycling.net, with lots of photos - Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and the rest day
1. Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica GreenEdge-AIS, 6:44:49
2. Monia Baccaille (Ita) MCipollini-Giambenini, + 00:01
3. Liesbet de Vocht (Bel) Rabobank, + 00:26
4. Shelley Olds (USA) AA Drink - Leontien.nl, + 00:27
5. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Faren Honda, + 00:30
6. Jutatip Maneephan (Tha) Thailand, + 00:36
7. Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products - Mistral Homes, s.t.
8. Xin Liu (Chn) China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling, s.t.
9. Romy Kasper (Ger) RusVelo, s.t.
10. Jessie MacLean (Aus) Orica GreenEdge-AIS, s.t.
Look to the comments for any video or more information on the races! The World Cup will now take a long break, until the Open de Suède Vårgårda Team Time Trial and Road Race on 17th and 19th August, in Sweden. Next up for the women, the peloton splits over three continents - one section in the Gatineau races in Canada and then the Exergy Tour and the Liberty Classic in the USA; another in South Africa for the Tour de Free State; and a third racing around the Cauberg, on the roads that will be used in the World Championships, for the Holland Hills/Park Hotel Rooding Hills Classic in the Netherlands - busy times, with riders chasing their opportunities for Olympic Glory, and their hopes for the rainbow jersey.