Eighth British women's title for Cooke

Nicole Cooke (Raleigh/Lifeforce) wins wet race in Saffron Walden.

Nicole Cooke (Raleigh/Lifeforce) has added an eighth British national championship to her large collection after a wet 70 mile race in Saffron Walden on Sunday. The 24 year-old Welshwoman soloed home to beat Rachel Heal (Webcor) and Helen Wyman (Global Racing) by nearly a minute.

The decisive breakaway formed at roughly the halfway point of the five lap race. Cooke, Heal and Wyman were joined by Catherine Hare (Rapha/Condor), Emma Pooley (Specialized Designs for Women) and Wyman's teammates Nikki Harris and Lizzie Armitstead. With several strong riders and teams up front, the bunch quickly lost ground and let the leaders fight it out for the victory.

On the last 12 mile lap, Cooke managed to get a gap over the rest and kept the power down right to the finish. The other six riders in the break could not bring her back, allowing Cooke to claim yet another national title. Webcor's Heal won the sprint for second ahead of Global Racing's Wyman, as Global couldn't capitalise on their strength in numbers to wrap up the silver medal. But they did manage to get Nikki Harris into the U23 champion's jersey after she finished fifth in the sprint. The other contender for the U23 title in the break, Lizzie Armitstead, finished seventh.

Results

1 Nicole Cooke (Raleigh/Lifeforce/Creation/HB)3:44:39 
2 Rachel Heal (Webcor Builders)0:00:59 
3 Helen Wyman (Global RT)  
4 Catherine Hare (Rapha Condor RT)  
5 Nikki Harris (Global RT)  
6 Emma Pooley (Team Specialized Designs for Women)  
7 Elizabeth Armistead (Global RT)  
8 Leanne Thompson (Lune RCC)0:08:37 
9 Diane Moss (Team Luciano/Everest)  
10 Alice Monger-Godfrey (Glendene CC/Biketrax)  
11 Katie Curtis (Global RT)  
12 Marie Stuart (Team Chance)  
13 Beverley Harper (Webcor Builders)  
14 Jessica Allen (Pinarello RT)  
15 Carrie Bedingfield (Team Luciano/Everest)  
16 Joanna Rowsell (Global RT)  
17 Jo Munden (V C Meuden)  
18 Rachel Osborn (WrekinSport)  
19 Sarah Byrne (Gs Strada/Afford rent-a-car)  
20 Femke van Schelven (Fatbirds)  
21 Michelle Roberts (Rapha Condor RT)  
22 Charlotte Colclough (Team Fat Birds)  
23 Hannah Bussey (Team Luciano/Everest)  
24 Jeanette Caldicott (Team Luciano/Everest)  
25 Lisa Hollingshead (Team GoSportspex)  
26 Pippa Handley (Edinburgh RC/Bicycleworks.com)0:10:13 
27 Heather Summers (Team Luciano/Everest)0:10:17 
28 Cath Weiss (www.agiskoviner.com)0:10:19 
29 Lauren Davis (www.agiskoviner.com)0:16:04 
30 Charlotte Blackman (London Dynamo/Cyclefit)  
31 Leda Cox (Team Saccarelli/Emu)  
32 Louise Eden (Seamons CC)  
33 Marriane Britten (Severn RC)  
34 Emilie Fisner (XRT/Elmy Cycles)  
35 Susie Scorer (XRT/Elmy Cycles)  
36 Victoria Ware (Border City Wheelers)0:27:21 
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