LONDON — Defending Olympic champion Nicole Cooke will be among the British women looking to grab the hosts' first cycling medal of the Games in the road race Sunday.

The highly-fancied British men's team failed to live up to the expectation of delivering Mark Cavendish into a gold medal-winning position Saturday when Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov triumphed ahead of the bunch.

Welshwoman Cooke, who won gold in Beijing, starts as a big favourite alongside teammate Lizzie Armitstead, who, like Cavendish, would be favoured to excel in a bunch sprint.

But Britain's women won't find the going easy in the 140 km race beginning and starting on The Mall, with Dutchwoman Marianne Vos, Italian Giorgia Bronzini and Germans Judith Arndt and Ina Teutenberg also expected to shine.

Also in contention is Canada's Clara Hughes, American Kristin Armstrong and New Zealand's Linda Villumsen.