Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira 2009
Stage 3- Nicole Cooke (Vision 1) wins, Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Highroad) regains lead
ELGOIBAR - ELGOIBAR, 79-Kms
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.
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
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.
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"
Position Name Team
1 Nicole Cooke Vision 1
2 Judith Arndt Team Columbia Highroad
3 Noemi Cantele Bigla Cycling
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