Crash setback for Cooke

After suffering a broken collar bone and knee trouble, Commonwealth Games champion Nicole Cooke find

After suffering a broken collar bone and knee trouble, Commonwealth Games champion Nicole Cooke find

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Commonwealth Games road champion Nicole Cooke suffered a setback to her hopes of defending her title in Melbourne later this month when she crashed into a parked vehicle during Sunday's World Cup race in Wellington. The Welshwoman sustained significant bruising and cuts to her knees and elbows, and was forced to abandon the race.

"I was leading around one bend and there was a van parked on the course, right in front of me," 22-year-old Cooke told the Western Mail. "I smashed into it and broke the forks on my bike."

"My whole preparation for the Commonwealth Games has been blighted by crashes," said Cooke, who suffered a broken collar bone when she crashed in an event at the Manchester Velodrome in December.

"I know the organisers try their best to remove vehicles from the course. But I just cannot believe that had this been a men's World Cup that vehicle would have been left without lots of marshals on the corner before it, identifying the hazard. For the men's races they have more marshals and spend more time clearing the course. It is a fact of life, they have more resources available."

- May's Uniqa Classic stage race in Austria has been cancelled, with the Austrian federation blaming the impact of the ProTour on lower category events for the decision. The news of the cancellation of one of the two major stage races in the country that will this year host the World Road Championships once again suggests that the elite level ProTour series has had a detrimental effect on less important races, coming as it does after a string of similar cancellations in Spain, notably of Semana Catalana and the Tour of Aragon.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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