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38th Amstel Gold Race - CDM

Netherlands, April 20, 2003

Main Page     Results     World Cup Standings

Nicole Cooke holds off charging peloton

By Jeff Jones in Valkenburg

The women's podium
Photo: © James Victor
Click for larger image

Multiple British Junior World Champion Nicole Cooke has won the third Amstel Gold Race for women, with a powerful ride to hold off the peloton by 40 metres on the Cauberg. Cooke, riding for the GS Ausra Groudis squad, attacked with around 10 km to go in the company of Dori Ruano (Prato Marathon Bike) to bridge up to Oenone Wood (Australian Institute of Sport). The three held a gap until the finishing climb, where Cooke rode away from her breakaway companions to take the victory. In second place was Australian national champion Olivia Gollan, with former World Champ Edita Pucinskaite (Michela Fanini) taking third.

"It the biggest win of my career," said Cooke afterwards. "I'd known for a couple of weeks that I had the form to win a race and it's been frustrating not getting the win, so this was fantastic. I've been the strongest rider and now I've got the reward."

The peloton
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

Nicole said that her legs "didn't feel that great" on the first climb of the Cauberg, but she had no such problems on the second climb. "Oenone Wood who beat me last week had already gone by then, and Brändli, Arndt, Zabirova, Bessette all tried to go too. It was me and Dori who made the chase though. We rode together at Deia-Pragma Colnago and so we knew what we could do. Neither of us was a threat to the World Cup overall either which helped."

"When we got to the final climb I could see the bunch coming up fast so I decided I had to go. So I jumped the other two and got the gap. With 250 metres to go I knew I'd won which is always nice because you can enjoy the last few metres."

Series leader Sara Carrigan
Photo: © James Victor
Click for larger image

Cooke added that "The World Cup overall isn't an objective for me, but obviously I will be trying to win again in Belgium on Wednesday [La Flèche Wallonne]. Clearly though I'm going to be marked now so I'll have to be clever and race efficiently."

Second placed Olivia Gollan was also forthcoming, and was delighted with her second place. "It's the biggest result I've had," she told Cyclingnews. "To come a place in a big classic like this is pretty exciting."

Gollan said that the team planned to attack on the Keutenberg, with 13 km to go. "We had Oenone Wood with us, who's just so powerful up hills, so the plan was for one of us or one of the other teammates like Emma or Hayley to drive Oenone to the bottom of the climb and she would attack over the top of them."

Oenone did just that and powered away over the top of the steep climb, riding solo for eight kilometres while the peloton decided what to do. Eventually Cooke attacked with Ruano and bridged up, and the three hovered just in front of the peloton.

"When we hit the Cauberg we were flying," said Gollan. "About halfway up we caught Oenone, and Nicole was still 50 metres in front of the group. I was fighting and fighting and trying to get round dead wheels and eventually got out and gave everything I had. I got in front and Nicole Cooke was still off the front. We had 150m to go and Pucinskaite came up beside me and I thought I could feel other people coming up beside me. I had it in such a big gear then threw it in another big gear and just got over Pucinskaite. Nicole probably won by 30-40 metres."

That was more than enough for the talented young rider from South Wales, who now rocketed up the World Cup standings to the top five. With another tough finish in La Flèche Wallonne next week, Cooke could find herself in the leader's jersey if she wins again. However Australian Sara Carrigan (Powerplate-Bik) will be hard to dislodge, finishing seventh today and therefore keeping the jersey. Carrigan is a strong climber, and probably won't be that far away from Cooke on the Mur de Huy on Wednesday.


Images by Jeff Jones/Cyclingnews.com

Images by James Victor


1 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Ausra Gruodis-Safi                          2.45.18 (38.26 km/h)
2 Olivia Gollan (Aus) Australian National Team                      0.02
3 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
4 Regina Schleicher (Ger) German National Team                      0.04
5 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai            0.05
6 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team             0.06
7 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Bik-Powerplate                                0.07
8 Judith Arndt (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
9 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike                        0.08
10 Lyne Bessette (Can) Canadian National Team                       0.09
11 Oenone Wood (Aus) Australian National Team                       0.12
12 Nicole Braendli (Swi) Prato Marathon Bike                        0.13
13 Theresa Senff (Ger) German National Team                         0.14
14 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
15 Aline Camboulives (Fra) G.S. Mazza                               0.15
16 Anita Valen (Nor) Bik-Powerplate                                 0.17
17 Nataliya Kachalka (Ukr) Team 2002 Aurora RSM                     0.18
18 Adrie Visser (Ned) Dutch National Team                           0.19
19 Miho Oki (Jpn) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team
20 Amber Neben (USA) Team T-Mobile USA                              0.21
21 Liane Bahler (Ger) German National Team                          0.25
22 Barbara Heer (Swi) Swiss National Team
23 Chantal Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie       0.26
24 Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Spa) Prato Marathon Bike                  0.30
25 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung               0.31
26 Ioulia Martissova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike
27 Sue Palmer-Komar (Can) Canadian National Team                    0.33
28 Sandy Espeseth (Can) Canadian National Team
29 Frances Newstead (GBr) British National Team                     0.35
30 Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) Ausra Gruodis-Safi                         0.36
31 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike                   0.37
32 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
33 Yvonne Brunen (Ned) Bik-Powerplate
34 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Team T-Mobile USA                        0.39
35 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
36 Heidi Van De Vijver (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team       0.40
37 Evy Van Damme (Bel) Lowik De Zwaluwen
38 Caroline Payot-Podevin (Fra) G.S. Mazza                          0.41
39 Tina Liebig (Ger) German National Team
40 Jolania Polikeviciute (Ltu) Team 2002 Aurora RSM
41 Giovanna Troldi (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
42 Rasa Polikeviciute (Ltu) Team 2002 Aurora RSM
43 Sharron Vandromme (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team
44 Kim Anderson (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
45 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team
46 Lisbeth Simper (Den) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
47 Debby Mansveld (Ned) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team
48 Cindy Pieters (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team
49 Sandrine Marcuz (Fra) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
50 Katia Longhin (Ita) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
51 Marta Vilatosaha (Spa) Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai
52 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
53 Vera Koedooder (Ned) Bik-Powerplate
54 Esther V/D Helm (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team
55 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Australian National Team
56 Emma James (Aus) Australian National Team                        0.52
57 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Bik-Powerplate                            0.55
58 Marta Evangelisti (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
59 Josephine Groenveld (Ned) Dutch National Team
60 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Team 2002 Aurora RSM
61 Tanja Hennes (Ger) Team Next 125
62 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Ondernemers Van Nature                      1.16
63 Baukje Doedee (Ned) Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai               1.21
64 Luisa Tamanini (Ita) Team 2002 Aurora RSM                        1.25
65 Isabella Wieser (Aut) Charly Lietzsport                          1.34
66 Areke Hassink (Ned) Dutch National Team                          1.40
67 Silvia Parietti (Ita) Prato Bike-Aki                             2.01
68 Serena Cavicchi (Ita) Prato Bike-Aki                             2.08
69 Dorte Lohse (Den) Danish National Team
70 Katrin Leumann (Swi) Team Next 125
71 Saskia Elemans (Ned)  @Home Cycling Team
72 Marianna Lorenzoni (Ita) Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai
73 Irene Hostettler (Swi) Team Next 125
74 Eneritz Iturriaga (Spa) Team 2002 Aurora RSM
75 Sarah Grab (Swi) Swiss National Team
76 Annette Beutler (Swi) Swiss National Team
77 Katy St. Laurent (Can) Canadian National Team                    2.16
78 Erika Vilunaitte (Ltu) Ausra Gruodis-Safi                        2.17
79 Emma Davies (GBr) British National Team                          2.19
80 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Ausra Gruodis-Safi                        2.20
81 Katherine Bates (Aus) Bik-Powerplate
82 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Ausra Gruodis-Safi
83 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team
84 Ine Wannijn (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team
85 Anna Ramirez Bauxell (Spa) Team Catalunya-Aliverti-Kookai        2.27
86 Trine Hansen (Den) Danish National Team                          2.30
87 Diana Elmentaite (Ltu) Ausra Gruodis-Safi
88 Mirjam Senn (Swi) Team Next 125
89 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Swiss National Team                        2.34
90 Stacey Peters (USA) Team T-Mobile USA
91 Sandra Rombouts (Ned)  @Home Cycling Team
92 Bertine Spijkerman (Ned) Dutch National Team                     2.37
93 Mari Holden (USA) Team T-Mobile USA                              2.40
94 Beatrice Thomas (Fra) G.S. Mazza                                 2.46
95 Janildes Silva (Bra) Prato Marathon Bike                         2.47
96 Elsbeth Vink (Ned) Farm Frites-Hartol Cycling Team               2.50
97 Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
98 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung          3.11
99 Chatarina Mulders (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports             4.15
100 Natalie Bates (Aus) Australian National Team                    5.47
101 Sara Symington (GBr) British National Team                      5.55
102 Charlotte Goldsmith (GBr) British National Team
103 Alexandra Bahler (Swi) G.S. Mazza                               7.04
104 Sabine Betz (Ger) Charly Lietzsport                             8.19
105 Anneleen Van Beek (Ned) Westland Wil Vooruit Mixed              8.24
106 Christina Peick (Den) Danish National Team                      8.30
107 Frederieke Van Der Wiel (Ned) Dutch National Team
108 Anna Farina (Ita) Prato Bike-Aki
109 Inge Klep (Ned) Ondernemers Van Nature
110 Nadine Bruhn (Den) Danish National Team
111 Francesca Castrucci (Ita) Prato Bike-Aki                        8.33
112 Caroline Slikker (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports
113 Mirella Van Melis (Ned) Vlaanderen-T-Interim Ladies Team        8.37
114 Olga Van Velzen (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports
115 Mieke V/D Burg (Ned) Lowik De Zwaluwen
116 Jacolien Wallaard (Ned) Dutch National Team                     8.46
117 Corrien Van Haastert (Ned) Ondernemers Van Nature
118 Kirsty Miggels (Ned) Westland Wil Vooruit Mixed                 8.50
119 Bettina Kuhn (Swi) Swiss National Team                          8.52
120 Irene Puccioni (Ita) Prato Bike-Aki
121 Letizia Giardinelli (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
122 Godelieve Jansens (Bel) Lowik De Zwaluwen                       9.05
123 Kerstin Scheitle (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung          10.05
124 Petra Rossner (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
125 Emily Williams (Aus) Australian National Team                  12.57
126 Indre Januleviciute (Ltu) Acca Due O Pasta Zara Lorena Camicie
127 Jolanda Dongen (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports              13.29
128 Abke Francissen (Ned)  @Home Cycling Team
129 Minke Van Dongen (Ned) Ondernemers Van Nature
130 Blandine Camus (Fra) G.S. Mazza                                13.44
131 Wendy Kramp (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports                 13.47
132 Andrea Knecht (Swi) Swiss National Team                        16.13
133 Petra Pilz (Aut) Charly Lietzsport                             16.30
134 Julie Hutsebaut (Can) Canadian National Team                   16.33
135 Janneke Rotman-Jager (Ned) Westland Wil Vooruit Mixed          16.34
136 Editha Bergkotte (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports            16.40
137 Eefje Ottevanger (Ned) Westland Wil Vooruit Mixed              16.42
138 Karin Wieser (Aut) Charly Lietzsport                           17.02
139 Claudia Meyer (Ger) Charly Lietzsport
140 Eyelien Bekkering (Ned)  @Home Cycling Team                    17.05
141 Kirsten Wild (Ned) Lowik De Zwaluwen                           17.08
World Cup Standings after four rounds (unofficial)
1 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Bik - Power Plate                         139 pts
2 Regina Schleicher (Ger) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo              112
3 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Team Farm Frites - Hartol               109
4 Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike                     90
5 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Ausra Gruodis - Safi                        82
6 Anita Valen (Nor) Bik - Power Plate                            82
7 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Ausra Gruodis - Safi                    74
8 Judith Arndt (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung              70
9 Olivia Gollan (Aus) AIS Australia                              62
10 Virginie Moinard (Fra)                                        57
11 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Runner - Guerciotti Cycling          55
12 Katie Mactier (Aus) Saturn Cycling Team                       50
13 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox        46
14 Oenone Wood (Aus) AIS Australia                               40
15 Melissa Holt (NZl) Equipe Cycliste Rona - Esker               30
16 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Catalunya - Aliverti - Kookai    29
17 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Team T-Mobile                         27
18 Nathalie Bates (Aus) AIS Australia                            24
19 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Prato Marathon Bike                      21
20 Katherine Bates (Aus) Bik - Power Plate                       21
21 Magali Le Floch (Fra) Equipe Cycliste Rona - Esker            21
22 Sophie Creux (Fra)                                            20
23 Rachel Heal (GBr)                                             18
24 Petra Rossner (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung            18
25 Theresa Senf (Ger)                                            16
26 Sharon Van Dromme (Bel) Vlaanderen - T Interim Ladies Team    15
27 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn Cycling Team                       11
28 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O - Pasta Zara - Lorena Camicie  11
29 Miho Oki (Jpn) Team Farm Frites - Hartol                      10
30 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Bik - Power Plate                         10
31 Ioulia Martissova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike                    9
32 Alexis Rhodes (Aus)                                            9
33 Ghita Beltman (Ned) Acca Due O - Pasta Zara - Lorena Camicie   7
34 Aline Camboulives (Fra) GS Mazza                               7
35 Vera Carrara (Ita) Road Runner - Guerciotti Cycling            6
36 Rosa Maria Bravo Soba (Spa)                                    5
37 Nataliya Kachalka (Ukr) Team 2002 Aurora RSM                   4
38 Svetlana Boubnenkova (Rus) Prato Marathon Bike                 4
39 Teodora Ruano Sanchon (Spa) Prato Marathon Bike                4
40 Amy Safe (Aus)                                                 4
41 Adrie Visser (Ned) NED                                         3
42 Zinaida Stahurskaya (Blr) USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo             3
43 Elizabeth Williams (NZl)                                       3
44 Renée Fortunato (Aus)                                          2
45 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Road Runner - Guerciotti Cycling       2
46 Amber Neben (USA) Team T-Mobile                                1
47 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung          1