UCI World Cup 2007
World Cup Round 5
Tour of Berne / Berner Rundfarht
Puckinskaite (Équipe Nürnberger) took a solo win on a warm sunny day in
Lyss, in the Berne region of Switzerland. 2007 was the second year of the
Berner Rundfarht as a round in the World Cup series. The race covered five
laps of a circuit which rolled through the valleys and took the riders up
the steep and uneven climb near Jens northwest of the start-finish town.
race started quietly until Tanja Hennes (Team Bigla) showed her Swiss
sponsor’s colours off the front of the bunch in the second lap. Hennes
created a gap of just over ten seconds, but was chased hard by the bunch,
led by the Raleigh Lifeforce team, with Priska Doppmann obvious at the
front of the bunch on the climb, where Hennes’ advantage was dwindling.
She was caught on the mainly downhill or flat roads back down to Lyss.
race then stayed pretty much together until the final lap, when Sylvia
Parietti (Italy) broke away from the bunch and stayed away until the
climb; which was when the race really exploded. A group of nine riders
gained an advantage as some strong attacks were made on the climb. Edita
Puckinskaite (Équipe Nürnberger) was able to capitalise on strength in
numbers, escaping off the front whilst team-mates Eva Lutz and Andrea
Graus watched for counterattacks in the group. Also in the break were
Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce), Marianne Vos (DSB Bank), Oenone Wood
(T-Mobile), Sofie Goor (Vlaanderen), Edwige Pitel (Uniqa) and Irene van
den Broek (AA Drink).
Puckinskaite was preparing to celebrate her victory as she rode up the
finishing straight alone and ahead of race cars and TV motorbikes, the
break was sprinting for second place. The sprint was instigated by Edwige
Pitel (Uniqa) with about 600m to go, but she was swallowed by the speed of
the defending World Cup leader, Nicole Cooke, and the World Champion,
Marianne Vos. The pair was duelling for important World Cup points, also
in the mix was Oenone Wood (T-Mobile).
the line, Marianne Vos marked her twentieth birthday with the sprint win
for second, whilst Wood was third. Cooke made sure of her World Cup
position by coming fourth. The bunch were closing in on the breakaway and
the first seventy-three riders were all awarded the same time.
Nicole Cooke maintained her World Cup series lead, but her lead is getting smaller. She now has only 56 points advantage over Marianne Vos, who has closed the gap from 76 points at the start of the day. Oenone Wood moved up from sixth to third but she is 166 points adrift of Cooke with four rounds remaining.
Puckinskaite last won a World Cup in 2005, when she was victorious
in Plouay (France). Speaking via an interpreter (none other than Nicole
Cooke), the Lithuanian who, like Cooke, speaks Italian commented that “Thanks
to my team, I was able to win. We were able to mark counterattacks whilst
I was away.” She explained her tactic for the final lap break:
“I don’t think I started the race as a favourite, but this meant
I could make the break without being marked”.
Nicole Cooke holds no illusions about the strength of her lead in the series. With Marianne Vos closing the points gap further in Berne, she commented that “I’ve won the World Cup overall twice and it was a fantastic achievement. If I could do it again I’d be very happy, we’ll see how the season goes.”
Standings - Top 5
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