Cooke kicks off World Cup defence with victory in Geelong

Nicole Cooke has started her year on a very winning note, taking out the Geelong World Cup to add to

Nicole Cooke has started her year on a very winning note, taking out the Geelong World Cup to add to
PIC BY JOHN VEAGE World number one Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce ) has taken out the opening round of the 2007 UCI Women's Road World Cup in Geelong sprinting home ahead of Australians Oenone Wood (T-Mobile) and Nikki Egyed (Australian National Team) at the end of the 120 kilometre race. The win capped off a week of success for the defending World Cup Series Champion who on Thursday claimed overall victory in the three day Geelong Tour. "The way it all panned out, holding off the bunch, beating such a fantastic sprinter like Oenone Wood, who's a past winner here, it was one of the most fantastic wins of my career," said the Welsh woman after her victory. 97 riders from 17 countries began the race from Waterfront Geelong and almost immediately had to contend with a fierce thunderstorm but the skies cleared by the time they headed into the second of eight laps of the 15 kilometre circuit. Eleven riders formed a leading group on the second lap including Commonwealth Games Champion, Natalie Bates (AUS), former World Champion, Edita Pucinskaite of Lithuania and Australian road time trial champion, Carla Ryan (QAS). They managed to amass a lead over the main field of almost four minutes before the pink train of the T-Mobile team turned up the heat in the chasing bunch. The northerly winds picked up speed towards the end of the race as did the chase with Wood powering up the climb on the second last lap to bridge the gap to the leaders and bring all the favourites back into contention. The pressure of the chase split the bunch with 35 riders forming a lead group. On the final time up the climb Cooke launched her attack. Wood responded to join her in the front while Sydney's Kate Nichols, who had worked all race in the lead group, put in a huge effort to tow team mate Egyed up to the lead pair. "(The early break) meant the other five of us could sit in the bunch and just wait," said Cooke who's team mate Sarah Duster (GER) was in the early break. "The pressure and the responsibility fell to the other teams and we could just watch while they put the work in. "I had to do two or three attacks before I actually went, but it was a case of attacking and keeping on going and keeping on believing," said Cooke. "I would have been disappointed if we hadn't given everything, but we put in there and made it a really good race," said Wood who won in Geelong in 2004. "Nicole's form at this point is just that little bit better than mine and I couldn't hold her off at the finish." Egyed, a member of the Australian Institute of Sport development program and silver medallist in the road race at the Australian Open Championships in January was thrilled with her podium performance. "Second place at nationals, it felt like the biggest loss for me," said Egyed. "Third place here, it feels like a win, I couldn't be happier." The second round of the World Cup Series will be raced in Belgium in April. Results 1 Nicole Cooke (GBr, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) 0:03:07:42 2 Oenone Wood (Aus, T-Mobile Women) 3 Nikki Egyed (Aus, Australian National Team) 4 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger, T-Mobile Women) 0:00:06 5 Angela Brodtka (Ger, German National Team) 6 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) 7 Regina Schleicher (Ger, Equipe Nrnberger Versicherung) 8 Trixi Worrack (Ger, Equipe Nrnberger Versicherung) 9 Annette Beutler (Swi, Team Flexpoint) 10 Emma Rickards (Aus, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) 11 Tina Pic (USA, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) 12 Madeleine Sandig (Ger, Team Flexpoint) 13 Laura Van Gilder (USA, Cheerwine) 14 Karin Aune (Swe, Menikini Gysko) 15 Miho Oki (Jpn, Menikini Gysko) 16 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus, NSW Institute of Sport) 17 Catherine Cheatley (NZl, Cheerwine) 18 Sarah Dster (Ger, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) 19 Priska Doppmann (Swi, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) 20 Lorian Graham (Aus, Queensland Academy of Sport) 21 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned, Team Flexpoint) 22 Peta Mullens (Aus, NSW Institute of Sport) 23 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu, Equipe Nrnberger Versicherung) 24 Emma Pooley (GBr, Great Britain National Team) 25 Dotsie Bausch (USA, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) 26 Leigh Hobson (Can, Cheerwine) 27 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe, Team Flexpoint) 28 Toni Bradshaw (NZl, BikeNZ New Zealand National Team) 29 Andrea Graus (Aut, Equipe Nrnberger Versicherung) 30 Melissa Holt (NZl, BikeNZ New Zealand National Team) 31 Kate Nichols (Aus, Australian National Team) 32 Charlotte Becker (Ger, Equipe Nrnberger Versicherung) 33 Judith Arndt (Ger, T-Mobile Women) 34 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus, Menikini Gysko) 35 Olivia Gollan (Aus, Menikini Gysko) 0:00:32 36 Natalie Bates (Aus, NSW Institute of Sport) 0:00:52 37 Gina Waibl (NZl, Team Kiwi) 38 Betina Hold (Can, Cheerwine) 39 Tanja Slater (GBr, Great Britain National Team) 40 Alex Wrubleski (Can, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) 41 Linda Villumsen (Den, T-Mobile Women) 42 Loes Markerink (Ned, Team Flexpoint) 43 Alexis Rhodes (Aus, T-Mobile Women) 44 Amanda Spratt (Aus, Australian National Team) 45 Sarah Ulmer (NZl, BikeNZ New Zealand National Team) 46 Larissa Kleinmann (Ger, German National Team) 47 Eva Lutz (Ger, Equipe Nrnberger Versicherung) 48 Alison Powers (USA, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light) 0:01:12 49 Sigrid Corneo (Ita, Menikini Gysko) 0:02:02 50 Carla Ryan (Aus, Queensland Academy of Sport) 0:02:30 51 Amber Jenkins (Aus, Landlink Cycling Team) 0:04:00 52 Janine Ridsdale (Aus, Team South Coast - 53 Clemilda Fernandes (Bra, Brazilian National Team) 54 Helen Kelly (Aus, NSW Institute of Sport) 55 Rachel O'connell (Aus, Cheerwine) 56 Uenia Fernandes (Bra, Brazilian National Team) 57 Patricia Schwager (Swi, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) 58 Brooke Ourada (USA, Cheerwine) 59 Janildes Fernandes (Bra, Brazilian National Team) 60 Annelies Basten (NZl, Team Kiwi) 61 Louise Kerr (Aus, Queensland Academy of Sport) 62 Brei Gudsell (NZl, Team Kiwi) 63 Sara Carrigan (Aus, Queensland Academy of Sport) 64 Jocelyn Loane (Aus, Australian National Team) 65 Patricia Palmer (Aus, MB Coaching) 66 Liz Young (Aus, MB Coaching) 67 Kathryn Watt (Aus, Kathy Watt Cycling) 0:04:28 68 Jemma O'brien (Aus, Team South Coast - 69 Jenny Macpherson (Aus, Australian National Team) 70 Kerri-Anne Torckler (NZl, Team Kiwi) 71 Rachel Rademaker (Aus, Kathy Watt Cycling) 0:05:11 72 Virgina Henning (Ger, German National Team) 73 Anneliese Heard (GBr, Great Britain National Team) 74 Kerryn Charman (Aus, Landlink Cycling Team) 75 Nina Khn (Ger, German National Team) 76 Liz Hayman (Aus, Team South Coast - 77 Maryam Rogers (GBr, Great Britain National Team) 0:07:43 78 Niki Fisher (Aus, Team South Coast - 0:08:26 79 Jessie Maclean (Aus, Landlink Cycling Team) 0:09:43 80 Stephanie Frawley (Aus, Kathy Watt Cycling) 0:09:46 Official website: Got a comment? 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