Regina rules supreme in Madrid

Nicole Cooke once again goes close to taking her first senior world road title, but the German team

Nicole Cooke once again goes close to taking her first senior world road title, but the German team
PIC BY PETER COSSINS Germany retained the women's road title won last year by Judith Arndt when Regina Schleicher outsprinted Britain's Nicole Cooke and Australia's Oenone Wood on Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana this Saturday morning. The German team worked perfectly through the final two kilometres to set up Schleicher from 200 metres out, and there was never any danger of the German being headed. Cooke's late burst carried her through to the silver medal, but the Briton was disappointed to have missed out on the rainbow jersey once again, despite only recently returning from a season-disrupting knee injury. The 9am start did the women no favours, as there were few spectators out to watch when they began the first of six laps of the 21km circuit. Although there were many attempts to break clear of the peloton during the three-hour race, there was more action at the back of the main pack as riders steadily dropped away as the pace remained relentlessly high. There were still 40 riders in contention going into the last lap, where the last sustained attempt to get clear was made by USA's Amber Neben. Like a number of other riders who'd already made similar efforts, Neben never got more than a dozen seconds clear of the bunch as she pushed hard up the final two drags on the circuit. She was caught on the run back down the Castellana, towards what has become the notorious final bend, now a roundabout instead of the original 180ø switchback. The German team was fully in control of the peloton at this point, with Judith Arndt and Theresa Senff keeping the pace as high as possible. Trixi Worrack took over lead-out duties as the leaders swung around the roundabout and into the final 600-metre drag to the finish. When Worrack peeled away, the 31-year-old Schleicher was left with a clear run to the line for the biggest win of her career. 1 Regina Schleicher (Germany) 126km in 3.08.52 (40.03kph) 2 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) 3 Oenone Wood (Australia) 4 Dorte Lohse Rasmussen (Denmark) 5 Chantal Beltman (Holland) 6 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 7 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden) 8 Anita Valen (Norway) 9 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lithuania) 10 Trixi Worrack (Germany) 17 Kristin Armstrong (USA) 18 Christine Thorburn (USA) 21 Erinne Willock (Canada) 24 Marissa van der Merwe (South Africa) 29 Olivia Gollan (Australia) 0.06 31 Alison Sydor (Canada) 32 Rachel Heal (Great Britain) 39 Sara Carrigan (Australia) 1.14 43 Nathalie Bates (Australia) 1.17 53 Kori Sehafer (USA) 2.11
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  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
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