UCI World Cup 2007
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World Cup Round 9
Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt
In 2006, Nicole Cooke, riding for Univega, had the World Cup series sewn up in the penultimate round. Her lead in the competition became unassailable after the Rotterdam World Cup race which took place the weekend before the final round in Nurnberg. Her team rode well in Nurnberg and in addition to the individual World Cup competition, they took the team prize too.
In 2007, Cooke is once more the World Cup leader going into the final round. This time, however, she is nowhere near assured of taking the overall competition. Her lead, a slender 80 points, over Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) means that she has to race to the final sprint if she wishes to retain her title. Double points are on offer for the final round in Nurnberg, as has been the case in previous years. The winner of the race will receive 150 points, which would be enough for Vos to beat Cooke in the series should the Dutchwoman win and Cooke come worse than third.
The Nurnberg race is usually a hard, fast affair which comes down to a bunch sprint. Breaks tend to be neutralised by chasers from the sprinter's teams later in the race and the final lap becomes a fast-moving, intensely tactical situation as the fast-women and their lead-out team-mates move to the front of the race, into position and ready for the slight narrowing of the course as the road bears right with 400m to go.
Cooke will doubtless be watching Vos throughout the event. The Welshwoman has ridden this event several times before, whilst the reigning World Road Champion is a newcomer to several events in the World Cup series, including Nurnberg. In addition to the aspirations of the leaders in the World Cup, the final race in the series also attracts the attention of other teams. Nurnberg have a strong team, including last year's winner, Regina Schleicher and Tour of Berne (round 5) winner, Edita Puckinskaite. T-Mobile bring a strong sprint team, including Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Oenone Wood.
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