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British Women/Junior Road Championships - CN
Buckinghamshire, Great Britain, August 19, 2001
Nicole Cooke's priceless ability to win the biggest races shone once again yesterday when she picked up her second senior National Road Race title. She and Ceris Gilfillan rode clear of the rest of the field on the 95km of an unrelentingly hilly course near Oakley in Buckinghamshire. Nicole then outsprinted the defending champion to take the title, to add to the Junior World title she won last year. Gilfillan's team-mate Sara Symington was third.
1 Nicole Cooke (Cardiff Ajax CC) 3.02.00 2 Ceris Gifillan (Team Alsager) 3 Sara Symington (Team Alsager) 2.38 4 Rachel Heal (Team Alsager) 2.47 5 Melanie Sears (Team Alsager) 6.12 6 Joanne Cavill (Team Letchworth) 7 Anne Bowditch (Guernsey Velo Club) 8 Charlotte Hopkinson (Deeside Olympic) 9 Nicola Bedwell (Team Letchworth) 10 Katrina Hair (Johnstone Wheelers)
By Neil Walker
A 63-rider field, including defending champion Kieran Page took the start in Oakley, Buckinghamshire in torrential rain, punctuated by sunny spells. The combination of a testing course and the inclement weather created an aggressive race from the first lap. Prominent in an early break were Steve Lampier, and Pete Johnston.
On the third lap, firm favorite Kieran Page and Ben Clark, 3rd in the recent Tour of Ireland, crossed to the lead group, making it 6 strong: Lampier, Johnston, Page, Clark, Craig Cooke (brother of World Champion Nicole) and Richard Ewings. These riders worked together to gain a maximum lead of 1'15 but the bunch, led by Alex Coutts, Richard Sutcliffe and Chris Penketh, never allowed the gap to open too widely.
With 2 laps to go, Cooke and Ewing were distanced, leaving 4 in the lead. On the final lap, the gap was finally closed by the remnants of the main field, leaving 13 in the lead. With no rider able to split the group, a sprint was inevitable. With 300m to go, Johnston made his race-winning move on the inside, with Kieran Page just unable to get past before the line. Graham Briggs took third, a length down on the winner.
1 Peter Johnson (Exeter Wheelers) 2 Keiran Page (SP Systems/Wightlink RT ) 3 Graham Briggs (Dinnington RC) 4 Kris Story (CCA Dataphonics RT) 5 Richard Sutcliffe (Knaresborough RT) 6 Chris Penketh (Liverpool Century RC) 7 Alex Coutts (Midlotian RT) 8 Michael Jolley (Warrington Road Club) 9 Steven Roach (Rugby Velo Club) 10 Chris Doel (Team Quest) Results and reports courtesy of British Cycling