UCI Road World Cup 2006
Cooke retains World Cup lead
Race victory ensures Cooke keeps the jersey
Sunday 7 May 2006, 123.3km
In a race which didn't really get going until the final, punishing third, Nicole Cooke (Univega) made it clear that she likes the rainbow jersey of the World Cup Series leader. With a shriek of delight as she crossed the line ahead of Judith Arndt (T-Mobile) and Susanne Ljungskog (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint), the race victory was sealed.
The profile for the course, about 200km northwest of Madrid (Spain) gave no clues to the actual severity of the race. There were a couple of long, hard climbs on the long circuit in the Castellan countryside, before almost six laps of a 6.6km finishing circuit which included a 400m, 10% climb.
As the race arrived back in the start / finish town of Valladolid, Team Bigla's Noemi Cantele was off the front, tantalisingly close, with just a few seconds advantage over the main bunch. Cantele stayed away for the next 2 laps too, but had been brought back by the time the riders crossed the finish line for the fourth of six times.
The closing 25km were covered at speed, with the bunch lined-out along the streets of Valladolid. Attempt after attempt went away and was then brought back. With 7km to go, Kimberly Bruckner Baldwin (T-Mobile) had a small lead as she descended the hill opposite the finishing line, only to have been swallowed back into the bunch 500m later, when the bunch crossed the line for one lap to go.
A lap later, the bunch was completely strung out, with riders preparing themselves for the uphill sprint to come. As they came into sight on the line, Cooke and Arndt were having a battle between themselves, the other contenders were already fighting out third place.......
Cooke's post-race congratulations from team-mates and team staff showed the delight of all the Univega squad with the win. She was obviously delighted with the result - even after the podium presentations, there was an obvious excitement in her voice.
This was her exclusive, post-race reaction >>
"Incredible!.... Its so nice when it comes off. Today, I thought I was going to be riding more defensively and not go for the all-out win, but for it to come to the finish and to have to deliver......... Oh, it was just amazing afterwards! (She beamed a huge, excited smile) The whole team was 'dialled' perfectly and this really is a team victory. I'm just so happy that I could do it for the girls"
(Audio file Copyright 2006© - Editors, producers prior to use, contact WomensCycling.net for written permission and terms)
Number of starters: 112
Riders finishing out of time limit: 10
Riders abandoning the race: 32
AB = did not finish 32
DNS = did not start 0
DQ = disqualified 0
OTL = outside time limit 10
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is
To contact the webmaster, the address is :
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme.
The WomensCycling.net email address is displayed as a graphic in order to reduce the amount of 'spam' email received from programmes which 'crawl' the internet for sites with addresses displayed in text and then overwhelm that address with junk, or even forge the address in junk messages that they generate and send to others. Sorry for any inconvenience this approach causes you.
WomensCycling.net 2004, 2005, 2006 ©