Report: Cooke 4th, Italy win Womens Title

Defending champion from last year in Australia, Giorgia Bronzini of Italy is the 2011 Women’s World Road Race Champion after a bunch sprint decided the Women’s World Road Race Championship.

On an uphill finish that is proving to be very tough for the out and out sprinters, Bronzini muscled her way to the line half a length clear of Marianne Vos of Holland with Ina Teutenberg (Germany) a length away in third. Nicole Cooke, Olympic Champion, showed she is still a world force with fourth while Lizzie Armitstead was 7th.

The Race
Judging by the many comments on Twitter, the early stages of the race could hardly have been classed as a race with TT Champion Judith Ardnt seen regularly at the back of the peloton, freewheeling as the skirmishes at the front were not only infrequent but also short lived.

Tactics were the order of the day above brute force and at the head of the cruising peloton were GB’s Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws and Catherine Williamson who were flying the team’s colours during the first half.

Emma Pooley, along with the Russians, was certainly very prominent at the front, making a few moves to string the bunch out but with no-one willing to commit to the move with her, every time a move was made, it would come back together and the bunch would sit up again.

Sharon Laws and Emma Pooley in the thick of the action during the Women’s RR. (Picture Thomas van Bracht)

Even when a handy looking break got away with riders from many of the major cycling nations, the riders still did not commit to the move which was puzzling. The move of the race came when Clara Hughes of Canada counter attacked after a move by former World Champion Amber Neben failed to stick.

(Picture Thomas van Bracht)

Hughes, with half a dozen or so wins this year, half of them in time trials, put her head down and paced herself well. Back in the peloton, no organised chase was forthcoming and the lead of Hughes would yoyo as attacks from the peloton would come and go and her lead would go up and down and then back up.

Into the final laps and there was a rear wheel puncture for Catherine Williamson (nee Hare) but after a long fight in the convoy, she managed to regain the safety of the peloton which was by now at all out war headed by the Dutch who took over responsibility for the chase of Hughes.

Even with three Dutch riders chasing her, the lead of Hughes was still coming down slowly but as the sprint got ever closer, and more and more riders chanced their legs with an attack over the top of the Dutch chase, the speed of the peloton was getting faster and faster.

With so many riders in contention, there were the inevitable crashes but the favourites were now at the front and readying themselves for the sprint to the line which would require perfect timing.
The ever experienced Nicole Cooke got a perfect ride in the Dutch train but it was the kick of Bronzini that saw her sprint clear of the rest, challenged only by Vos and the two crossed the line with the Italian clinching the title by half a length.

For Cooke, it was another fourth but her record of finishes in the top five at this level shows her to be coming back to form at the right time as London 2012 approaches and Lizzie Armitstead also showed that her young legs are now able to compete at the very highest level. Next year’s Olympics promises to be a very exciting race indeed.

Speaking to BBC’s Jill Douglas after the race, Nicole Cooke said for sure, 4th is a frustrating place to finish. “We rode for Lizzie and there were the attacks with two and half laps to go and all the time over the top of the climb but I didn’t go with them as I thought, ‘we’re riding for a sprint, I’m going to save my energy as well so we can all help Lizzie”.

“The girls took Lizzie up to the front so she was pretty well looked after and I was able to get to the front by myself so I thought, I’m up here now, Lizzie will come up to me and she’ll call for the sprint.”

“I heard the crash and kept looking but couldn’t see Lizzie and coming round the last corner, I got myself into a good position on Vos’s wheel and I thought, we’re in the last kilometre now, I have this fantastic opportunity, I am going to go for it.”

“I think I had one of the best reference points for the finish to be honest (Vos’s wheel), and then Bronzini came past, Tuetenburg came past but not quite as fast and Vos got boxed in and was baulked, and I was baulked because I was on her wheel. We both lost speed and then both accelerated but it wasn’t enough for her and not enough for me to get a medal.”

“We’re a team that races to win, that’s a standard that we set, and that is what we want to do and all the girls rode exceptionally well and it’s a shame we don’t have a medal to reward that work because it was a fantastic race for the British team today”.

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Usage: Click a photo to display. Use the left & right cursor keys to move to previous or next image. Click an image to close. Photos  Thomas van Bracht


1. Giorgia Bronzini, Italy,
2. Marianne Vos, Netherlands,
3. Ina-Yoco Teutenberg, Germany
4. Nicole Cooke, Great Britain
5. Julia Martisova, Russia
6. Chloe Hosking, Australia
7. Lizzie Armitstead, Great Britain
8. Ludivine Henrion, Belgium
9. Rasa Leleivyte, Lithunia
10. Aude Biannic, France

47. Lucy Martin, Great Britain
65. Katie Colough, Great Britain
69. Emma Pooley, Great Britain
81. Sharon Laws, Great Britain


Full Result

1  BRONZINI Giorgia ITA 3:21:28 +0
2  VOS Marianne NED @ st
4  COOKE Nicole GBR @ st
5  MARTISOVA Julia RUS @ st
6  HOSKING Chloe AUS @ st
7  ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth GBR @ st
8  HENRION Ludivine BEL @ st
9  LELEIVYTE Rasa LTU @ st
10  BIANNIC Aude FRA @ st
11  BUBNENKOVA Svetlana RUS @ st
12  NUMAINVILLE Joelle CAN @ st
13  NÖSTVOLD Lise NOR @ st
14  JOHANSSON Emma SWE @ st
15  VERBEKE Grace BEL @ st
16  KOZONCHUK Oxana RUS @ st
17  KIRCHMANN Leah CAN @ st
18  CLIFF-RYAN Theresa USA @ st
19  BRZEZNA Paulina POL @ st
20  FAHLIN Emilia SWE @ st
21  DE VOCHT Liesbet BEL @ st
22  OLDS Shelley USA @ st
23  MOOLMAN Ashleigh RSA @ st
24  VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek NED @ st
26  KAPUSTA Sylwia POL @ st
27  AMIALIUSIK Alena BLR @ st
28  WHITELAW Vicki AUS @ st
29  FERRIER-BRUNEAU Christel FRA @ st
30  TREIER Grete EST @ st
32  VAN DE WINKEL Joanna RSA @ st
33  WILLOCK Erinne CAN @ st
34  TAYLOR Cherise RSA @ st
35  SUNDSTEDT Pia FIN @ st
36  SHAW Rhae-Christie CAN @ st
37  DE VUYST Sofie BEL @ st
38  BECKER Charlotte GER @ st
39  BACCAILLE Monia ITA @ st
40  D`ETTORRE Alessandra ITA @ st
41  BATAGELJ Polona SLO @ st
42  LAMBORELLE Nathalie LUX @ st
43  VYSOTSKA Eivgenia UKR @ st
44  LESUEUR Melodie FRA 3:21:36 +8
45  POLSPOEL Maaike BEL @ st
46  MUNOZ Paola CHI 3:21:39 +11
47  MARTIN Lucy GBR @ st
48  OLIVEIRA Flavia BRA @ st
49  SOSENKO Aleksandra LTU @ st
50  HAGIWARA Mayuko JPN @ st
51  CHANPENG Nontasin THA @ st
52  GILMORE Rochelle AUS @ st
53  JASINSKA Malgorzta POL @ st
54  HOHL Jennifer SUI @ st
55  RAMSDEN Denise CAN @ st
56  DÜSTER Sarah GER @ st
57  LONGO BORGHINI Elisa ITA 3:21:45 +17
58  SOSNA Katarzyna LTU @ st
59  ARNDT Judith GER @ st#60 113 CHACON GARCIA Lilibeth VEN @ st
61  SCHWAGER Patricia SUI 3:21:49 +21
62  RIABCHENKO Tetyana UKR @ st
63  CANTELE Noemi ITA @ st
64  WORRACK Trixi GER 3:21:55 +27
65  COLCLOUGH Katie GBR 3:21:57 +29
66  LETH Julie DEN 3:22:00 +32
67  LEAL BALDERAS Verónica MEX 3:22:07 +39
68  GONZALEZ Angie Sabrina VEN 3:22:08 +40
69  POOLEY Emma GBR @ st
70  THOMASSON Martina SWE 3:22:09 +41
71  AUBRY Emilie SUI @ st
72  STEVENS Evelyn USA @ st
73  NEBEN Amber USA @ st
74  BRAS Martine NED @ st
75  GARCIA Danielys VEN @ st
77  CILVINAITE Inga LTU @ st
78  SCHNIDER Pascale SUI @ st
79  SCHAUSS Fabienne LUX @ st
80  NOVAK Alenka SLO @ st
81  LAWS Sharon GBR @ st
82  HARE WILLIANSON Catherine GBR @ st
83  RYAN Carla AUS @ st
84  LINDBERG Marie SWE @ st
85  HÄUSLER Claudia GER @ st
86  OLSSON Madeleine SWE @ s
87  CORDON Audrey FRA @ st
88  WHITTEN Tara CAN @ st
89  GILLOW Shara AUS 3:22:15 +47
90  MILLER Amanda USA @ st
91  BRENNAUER Lisa GER @ st
92  ANDRUK Alona UKR 3:22:17 +49
93  MUSTONEN Sara SWE 3:22:18 +50
94  KRASNIAK Julie FRA 3:22:25 +57
95  GUNNEWIJK Loes NED 3:22:32 +1:04
96  ANTOSHINA Tatiana RUS 3:22:36 +1:08
97  SCANDOLARA Valentina ITA 3:22:39 +1:11
98  BLAAK Chantal NED 3:22:45 +1:17
99  WILD Kirsten NED @ st
100  GROOT Robyn RSA 3:22:47 +1:19
101  FARINA Robin USA @ st
102  LOHSE RASMUSSEN Dorte DEN 3:22:52 +1:24
103  HUGHES Clara CAN 3:23:06 +1:38
104  JANELIUNAITE Edita LTU 3:23:33 +2:05
105  DE SAINT Magdalena FRA @ st
106  BURCHENKOVA Alexandra RUS 3:23:41 +2:13
107  MOBERG Emilie NOR 3:23:44 +2:16
108  GUDERZO Tatiana ITA 3:23:51 +2:23
109  CECCHINI Elena ITA @ st
110  SPRATT Amanda AUS 3:24:05 +2:37
111  VILLUMSEN Linda Melanie NZL @ st
112  LOPEZ MORALES Belen ESP @ st
113  JUODVALKYTE Urte LTU 3:24:08 +2:40
114  PINTARELLI Daniela AUT 3:24:59 +3:31
115  MACLEAN Jessie AUS 3:25:51 +4:23
116  ARYS Evelyn BEL @ st
117  HAHN Jacqueline AUT @ st
118  TJASA Rutar SLO 3:28:50 +7:22
119  CHAPOOKHAM Monrudee THA 3:29:11 +7:43
120  THORSEN Thea NOR 3:30:20 +8:52


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