Women’s RR: What they said

For Sara Carrigan winning the women's road race is 'indescribable' but for Nicole Cooke it's 'frustr

For Sara Carrigan winning the women’s road race is ‘indescribable’ but for Nicole Cooke it’s ‘frustr

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Sara Carrigan (Aus) Gold: “It’s an indescribable feeling, because it’s a big team effort. We knew that one of us would be on the podium, and it could have been Oenone Wood if there had been a bunch sprint, because she’s the best sprinter and she is currently leading the World Cup. It’s team work. We haven’t been exposed to much media so that we could concentrate on winning gold. We are a good group and we have prepared well for this. I attacked and got a gap. I held it until Judith Arndt came up to me. We spoke a little but I knew it was the day and in the finale I didn’t work as much as Judith.” Judith Arndt (Ger) Silver: “I caught the break in the hills on the last lap, but I was taken by surprise by the winner. If Petra Rossner, our best sprinter had been there it would have been different. We would have been more aggressive and maybe we would have got gold.” Olga Slyusareva (Rus) Bronze: “I will appreciate this later after recovering, but of course I know that a medal in the Olympic Games is a big achievement. Every athlete dreams of it. It was a tough race and the wind affected us all. It was blowing hard and was an obstacle to trying to break clear of the peloton. My legs felt it and towards the end I was tired.” Nicole Cooke (GB) fifth: “My instant reaction is frustration and disappointment. You need the right chemistry in the breakaway and although it was a good breakaway we didn’t have that. With two Australians there and a Russian rider that wasn’t working, it wasn’t a good situation. I think maybe I should have made the decision to chase Carrigan myself, but that is the only thing that I could have done differently. The point where the Australian and German attacked was exactly when I had been riding on the front. So, from their point of view, it was the right time to go and I felt it wasn’t up to me to chase them down. It was up to the other riders with me to chase, but I looked at them and they did nothing. The Australians had a tactical advantage in numbers and they used it well. I knew the race had gone once we rode over the hill hard the last time. We closed the gap on them a bit but it wasn’t enough. But if people are there in the group that aren’t working to chase, then I’m not going to work. That’s what I take from this race.”