The women’s race is much harder to call than the Men’s (largely due to the poor media coverage the women’s side of the sport gets – especially in the UK). Marianne Vos (Netherlands) has been the dominant force in women’s cycling in 2012 (she’s the Eddy Merckx of women’s cycling, or for the younger generations, if you rolled Wiggins and Cavendish in to one and then threw in a good helping of Peter Sagan you’ll have a good idea of Vos. She won 5 of the 9 stages in the Giro d’Italia Femminile, the most prestigious stage race on the women’s road cycling calendar).
Cycling News is tipping Shelley Olds (USA) as a medal hope if it comes down to a sprint. As a team mate of Elizabeth Armitstead and Emma Pooley during the rest of the season, the Brits will no doubt closely mark her. Armitstead is a real threat in a sprint and Nicole Cooke is defending champion and won’t give the title up without a fight. Australia will always be a threat along with the likes of Judith Arndt (Germany), Ina Teutenberg (Germany), twice World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) and Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
Prediction – Bunch Sprint
1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain)
3 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)