PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Britain's leading women's road rider Nicole Cooke has confirmed her presence in the inaugural World Cup event on British soil in Newport on August 20. Broadcast live by BBC Grandstand, the 114km race is the eighth in the 11-event World Cup series and will be based around the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales.
Cooke, who in 2003 became the first British rider to win a World Cup series, is currently fourth in this year's standings. She had a strong start to the series, winning Flche Wallonne in Belgium.
Looking forward to extending her record of wins, the 22 year old is delighted at the boost to British women's cycling that the Newport World Cup will mean. "I've competed twice before at the Celtic Manor and it will be a fantastic venue for the first international standard women's race in Britain for nearly a decade. Cycling continues to go from strength to strength and to race against the best riders in the world in front of my home crowd will be very special," said Cooke.
"The Newport World Cup is definitely going to be one of the highlights of the season for me and hopefully it will develop into one of the classics of the racing calendar."
The route for the race has also now been confirmed. The race starts and finishes at The Celtic Manor Resort and takes in Cats Ash Road, Langstone and the A48 to Caerwent. From there the riders will turn left towards Llanvair Discoed and the difficult climb of Wentwood. There is then a very fast decent to Llantrisant and Newbridge-on-Usk before the field turn left again on the Caerleon-Usk road. After passing through Caerleon the severe climb of Belmont Hill has to be tackled just before entering The Celtic Manor Resort to cross the finish line and complete one lap. The race takes in three full laps and six climbs to complete the course.
Race fans also have the chance to line up alongside Cooke during the BikeWales mass participation ride on the day after the World Cup event. BikeWales offers riders a choice of three routes and distances, which all start and finish in the beautiful grounds of The Celtic Manor.
The 19-mile Bronze route is the one set to be most popular with anyone prepared to 'have a go' at cycling a longer distance ride, with the Silver and Gold routes ideal for the more experienced cyclists. There will be drink stations, mechanical support and first aid provision on each of the routes, and each finisher will receive a certificate to commemorate their day and a ranking relating to their category of ride.
For an entry form go to www.bikewales.org or call 01372 464666.