Nicole Cooke takes women's RR champs - Road Cycling UK

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Nicole Cooke takes women’s RR champs

API/Metrow Foods promoted the 2007 National Women’s RR Champs on August 19
in Essex.

Nicole Cooke celebrates another
title – more
pictures

A field of just under 60 starters began a rain soaked journey of 5 laps of
14 miles, totalling 70 miles, around the Essex countryside near Saffron Walden
and with pre-race favourite Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce) looking to continue
her record of 7 consecutive titles, it was everyone’s to win and hers alone
to lose.

With the weather bordering on atrocious; rain consistent and roads treacherous,
it was no surprise that on the first lap there was a heavy crash, as several
riders hit a downhill, off-camber corner too fast and were carted off by the
medical staff.

Several small attacks in the first 2 laps were carefully monitored and brought
back by the Global team and Cooke’s team mate, Tanja Slater, but a serious
effort by Global’s Jo Rowsell caused much pain as riders chased her back.

A counter attack from two riders at the start of lap 3, which included Katie
Curtis (Global). This two-up break never got more than a few seconds on the
bunch, but they stayed away until the long drag, when Tanja Slater set to work
to bring them back and the pace lifted. This caused the field to explode and
at the top of the climb into Elmdon, there were 8 riders with a small gap on
the field: Cooke, Rachel Heal (Webcor Builders), Emma Pooley (Specialized),
Catherine Hare (Rapha Condor), and four Global riders, Helen Wyman, Lizzie Armitstead, Jo Rowsell and Nikki Harris had escaped the main field and set off to open up
what would become an unassailable lead.

With the rain subsiding and the roads beginning to dry out the 8 leaders had
everything to gain from working well together and continued to open the gap
over the main field. It was a day of many punctures and probably the worst affected
was Jo Rowsell who puctured from this break. A slow wheel change and some pacing
back from the team car and she led back to the chasing group, but never made
it back to the escapees, who by now, had continued to make ground.

On the final lap, towards the top of the climb it seemed no one was prepared
for the pace and strength from Nicole Cooke on the final ascent of Elmdon.

In the last 600 metres of the climb Cooke really put the hurt on her fellow
escapees, opening up a gap of 200 metres, or 20 seconds, by the top, and she
took off with 6 miles left to go.

The pace from Cooke’s effort, split the chasers and, at the top of the
climb, two groups of three, separated by 25 seconds, were consolidating their
energy’s for the pursuit.

On the fast descent the two chasing groups came together and they worked solidly
to close the gap but when they turned off the main road onto the finishing straight,
Cooke was gone and they turned their attentions to deciding the final podium
placings.

Cooke, meanwhile saluted the crowds as she rolled in alone to take her eighth
senior road race title and then over a minute later, the mass charge to the
line had Rachel Heal pip Helen Wyman for the silver medal, Wyman taking Bronze
whilst behind her, Nikki Harris was finishing just ahead of team-mate Lizzie
Armitstead and in doing so, won the U23 National title, with Alice Monger-Godfrey
(Glendene) taking the bronze, coming across the line 7 minutes later. Monger-Godfrey
took the bronze by a whisker from another Global rider, Katie Curtis, with both
being part of the main field of 25 riders who finished a very hard and arduous
test.

Result
1. Nicole Cooke Raleigh / Lifeforce / Creation / HB 3 hrs 44m39s
2. Rachel Heal Webcor Builders 3.45.38
3. Helen Wyman Global RT ST
4. Catherine Hare Rapha Condor RT ST
5. Nikki Harris Global RT ST
6. Emma Pooley Team Specialized Designs for Women ST
7. Elizabeth Armistead Global RT ST
8. Leanne Thompson Lune RCC 3.53.16
9. Diane Moss Team Luciano / Everest ST
10. Alice Monger-Godfrey Glendene CC / Biketrax ST
11. Katie Curtis Global RT ST
12. Marie Stuart Team Chance ST
13. Beverley Harper Webcor Builders ST
14. Jessica Allen Pinarello RT ST
15. Carrie Bedingfield Team Luciano / Everest ST
16. Joanna Rowsell Global RT ST
17. Jo Munden V C Meuden ST
18. Rachel Osborn WrekinSport ST
19. Sarah Byrne Gs Strada / Afford rent-a-car ST
20. Femke van Schelven Fatbirds ST
21. Michelle Roberts Rapha Condor RT ST
22. Charlotte Colclough Team Fat Birds ST
23. Hannah Bussey Team Luciano / Everest ST
24. Jeanette Caldicott Team Luciano / Everest ST
25. Lisa Hollingshead Team GoSportspex ST
26. Pippa Handley Edinburgh RC / Bicycleworks.com 3.54.52
27. Heather Summers Team Luciano / Everest 3.54.56
28. Cath Weiss www.agiskoviner.com 3.54.58
29. Lauren Davis www.agiskoviner.com 4.00.43
30. Charlotte Blackman London Dynamo/Cyclefit ST
31. Leda Cox Team Saccarelli / Emu ST
32. Louise Eden Seamons CC ST
33. Marriane Britten Severn RC ST
34. Emilie Fisner XRT / Elmy Cycles ST
35. Susie Scorer XRT / Elmy Cycles ST
36. Victoria Ware Border City Wheelers 04.12.00

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