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UCI World Cup 2007

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World Cup Round 2

Ronde van Vlaanderen - 122km 


Race Writeup

Nicole Cooke continued her domination of the World Cup by winning the Tour of Flanders in Belgium. She has maximum points from the first 2 rounds of the 2007 series.The Raleigh Lifeforce Creation rider easily outsprinted Zoulfia Zabirova (Team Bigla) and Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) in a finale which saw the leaders arrive in a string, rather than a bunch; such was the severity of the race and the winner’s finishing effort. There were 163 starters and 79 abandons in this, the European World Cup opener. Despite good weather and warm temperatures, there were a number of crashes. Several occured on the uphill sections, where the roads narrowed suddenly, riders slowed and wheels touched. 

The bunch stayed pretty much together for the first, flat, part of the race. There were some attempts to break away, but all were brought back. The first climb, Molenberg, at 43km saw the bunch splinter into groups and lone riders fighting to regain sight of the leaders. The vicious climb caused several retirements on the run over to the second climb, Wolvenberg. Things came pretty much together again at the front, even though some slower riders were lost from the rear of the bunch.  Newcomer team in 2007, Getränke Hoffmann, sent Birgit Hollmann on an attack over the cobbles at Paddestraat , but she succumbed to a puncture and was forced to pull over and wait for a wheel change.

The move of the race was made when Karin Thürig (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) broke away from the bunch with about 40 kilometres to go. The 2005 World Time Trial Champion was allowed to build an advantage of almost a minute. There were some spirited chases of the lone leader, especially from T-Mobile who lined up at the front of the bunch for several kilometres. Thurig stayed away and led all the way in towards the finish, until joined by team-mate Nicole Cooke on the penultimate climb, the Wall “Muur-Kapelmuur”, with about 20 km to go. With a shout of "Come on!", Cooke urged Thurig to give just a bit more.

The pair, though, were caught in the closing kilometres and a small group formed to contest the final sprint. Cooke and Thürig were joined by: Susanne Ljungskog (who was wearing number 1 in the absence of the injured defending Champion, Mirjam Melchers van Poppel) from Team Flexpoint, Trixi Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger), World Champion – Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) and Zoulfia Zabirova (Team Bigla). As the riders appeared around the final right-hand corner 400 metres from the finishing line, Cooke wound up the sprint, with daylight already ahead of the others. She was followed in for the podium placings by Zabirova and Vos. Cooke was clearly the strongest and had time to celebrate in front of the appreciative crowd with a two-armed salute. 

Oenone Wood (T-Mobile) had started the day in second place overall, she gained no points in the second round, finishing in a bunch 1'10 seconds behind Cooke.  Wood and Zabirova are now equal second, with 50 points each. Trixi Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger), who started the Ronde van Vlaanderen in eighth place in the World Cup series with 18 points finished fourth, adding 30 to her total and raised her overall position to fourth. Nikki Egyed (Australia) picked up ten points from Vlaanderen (finishing in eleventh place) to add to her 35 from the first round and goes into the next round ranked fifth with 45 points.

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Post Race Comments

Nicole Cooke  “I really feel like I’ve won a ‘Classic’ ”, she continued, “it’s a great race and the crowds, they were huge! Look at how many were on the finishing straight!” She was appreciative of the team effort required to help her to win “It was great that Karin [Thürig] was there for the finale [after her break] and the whole team put in a terrific effort.

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Results - Top 10   Click for full result

1         Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation)                 122km, 38.325km/h

2         Zoulfia Zabirova (Team Bigla)                                                  @ 0:00:02

3         Marianne Vos (DSB Bank)                                                     @ 0:00:05

4         Trixi Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger)                                           @ 0:00:07

5         Karin Thürig (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation)                                   @ 0:0009

6         Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint)                                      @ 0:00:09

7         Monia Baccaille (Team Saccarelli Emu)                                  @ 0:00:28

8         Marta Bastianelli (Safi Pasta Zara Manhattan)

9         Sofie Goor (Vlaanderen Caprisonne T Interim)

10     Lorian Graham (Australia)

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Standings - Top 10   Click for full list

1       Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation)                 150

2       Zoulfia Zabirova (Team Bigla)                                     50

3       Oenone Wood (T-Mobile)                                          50

4       Trixi Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger)                             48

5        Nikki Egyed (Australia)                                            45

6        Marianne Vos (DSB Bank)                                      35

7        Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile)                                30

8        Karin Thürig (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation)                   27

9        Angela Brodtka (Team Getränke Hoffmann)              27

10      Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint)                       24

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

CJ1_0391 CJ1_0394 CJ1_0424 CJ1_0440
CJ1_0515 CJ1_0562 CJ1_0586 CJ1_0666 CJ1_0708
CJ1_0812 CJ1_0848 CJ2_8021 CJ2_8061 CJ2_8063
CJ2_8081 CJ2_8094 CJ2_8103 CJ2_8109 CJ2_8121
CJ2_8124 CJ2_8155 CJ2_8160    

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