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Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira 2009


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Stage 3- Nicole Cooke (Vision 1) wins, Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Highroad) regains lead


Race Writeup

Nicole Cooke (Vision 1) won her second stage in another bunch sprint. Cooke beat Judith Arndt (TEam Columbia-Highroad) and Noemi Cantele (Bigla) to the line. 


Arndt blasted back into the overall lead of the Bira stage race in Spain after taking her second victory in three days.  Arndt was the fastest in a short but steep hilly time trial through the town of Iurreta on Saturday morning, and with two stages left to race now leads Italian Fabiana Luperini by seven seconds.


Already the winner of stage one in a 19-rider bunch sprint, Arndtís success is all the more impressive given she only returned to racing in the GP Montreal on May 30th after breaking both her collarbone and her left wrist this spring. 


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Post Race Comments

Judith Arndt was very happy to have regained the leaders jersey, ďItís all very unexpected because of all those injuries, but Iím also really pleased I could do so well,Ē Arndt said afterwards.  ďThere are a lot of top class riders here, so to be able to come back and beat them is very good for my confidence. But itís fun, too!  My tactics were very straightforward in the hilly time trial, just go all out from the start because even if there were a lot of changes of gradient, it was only just over two kilometres long.Ē

Arndtís collarbone no longer troubles her, although she says that her wrist, which she broke in April, remains painful. ďMy wrist injury still hurts a little during the races, and more afterwards, but so long as Iím careful,  Iím ok.  I went through a tough time psychologically this spring after doing so much training on the rollers with no racing, and Iím still nervous sometimes during races because the doctors say that I could break my wrist if I crash on it.Ē


While very satisfied with her achievements, Arndt says that she will do her best to defend the yellow leaderís jersey and see if she can take her first stage race win since the Tour of Tuscany last September.  ďThere are two stages to go and theyíre both undulating, so Iíll have to be equally careful in both. My leadís less than 10 seconds and anything could happen.  But in any case Iím not the only rider Columbia-Highroad has for the overall, so when it comes to defending the lead, weíve got several different options. That could be very important"


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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position              Name                   Team 

1                         Nicole Cooke        Vision 1

2                         Judith Arndt         Team Columbia Highroad

3                         Noemi Cantele    Bigla Cycling

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General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC


To come

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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