Nicole Cooke leads team to narrow 2 second victory
This was the first World Cup to ever be staged in Denmark and together with the Swedish round on Friday, witnesses the increasing global nature of the women’s competition. 17 teams took part with riders from 27 Nations.
The Team Time Trail course was mainly flat with a strong wind blowing causing teams to have to echelon behind the lead rider for best effect. Each team set off with 6 riders and the team time was to be taken on the 4th rider to cross the line.
It was widely expected that the German T mobile outfit would triumph and put their riders back into contention for the overall World Cup. They faded badly into 5th place and instead it proved to be a closely fought competition between the Raleigh Univega squad lead by Cooke and Team Buitenport lead by Friday’s winner Susanne Ljungskog. This time the honours were reversed with Raleigh Univega coming out on top by a narrow margin.
Nicole Cooke 23, the recent winner of the Grande Boucle – the women’s Tour de France, lead her powerful Univega-Raleigh team to a narrow 2 second victory in the inaugural Team Time Trial in Denmark.
At the beginning of the week-end Cooke held a 49 point lead over her main rival, Judith Arndt (Ger), however after the two races, Sweden on Friday and today, that lead has now been extended to 118 and Cooke is in a good position to retain the World Cup she first took in 2003.
Reporting on the day’s Team TT she says:
“You never know when a puncture might strike so we kept going with 5 riders after we had dropped Sarah Duster. We were last to start off so we knew how we were doing against earlier teams and that made it comfortable for us to judge our pace, although at the end obviously Buitenport did very well to get so close to us. Again the team were superb, everyone giving of their all, so it was nice for them all to get up on the podium instead of it being just myself. We were very pleased to beat T-Mobile by so much and that puts us in the lead in the Team competition by quite a way.” said a jubilant Cooke at the end.
“I am looking forward to a good break now after many days racing. The next round is not until the end of August in Plouay France. That is one of my favourite circuits as I won my first Junior World Title there. I will need to be on good form right through to the end of the competition as there are double points on the last round and anything can happen”
Team FBUK became the first ever British trade team to ride a World Cup and they finished in 15th place, 6 min 43 seconds behind. They can be very pleased with their experience as most of the team had never ridden at this level before Friday. “It has been quite an experience for a number of the riders” said manager Stefan Wyman. “But all of them want to develop and this is the next level up. They have seen it and now they know what they have to do to become competitive at this level. I think they are all looking forward to the challenge”
Women’s World Cup Round 9 – Team Time Trial
- 1 Univega Raleigh 44 km in 52min 03 sec 50.7 km/hr
(Cooke (Gbr), Thurig (Swi), Doppmann (Swi), Soeder (Aut), Kiesanowski (Nz)
- 2 Buitenport – Flexipoint @ 2 sec
- 3 AA Drinks @ 1 min 21 sec
- 4 Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung @ 1 min 22 sec
- 5 T mobile @ 1 min 35 sec
Overall World Cup Standings after 9 of 12 Rounds