Cervélo - Emma Pooley wins La Fléche Wallonne Féminine
Emma Pooley (GBR) won a remarkable victory today at the La Fléche Wallonne Féminine in Belgium. She scored a decisive victory, with an eight second gap, over three-time winner Nicole Cooke (GBR- Great Britain) and Emma Johansson (SWE- Redsun Cycling Team) who finished in third. This is Emma Pooley's first big win of 2010 following a series of high-profile victories in 2009 including the Grande Boucle, the women's Tour de France. La Fléche Wallonne Féminine is the fourth round of the nine-round UCI Women's World Cup road race series. The win moves Pooley into fourth in the World Cup standings.
"I have to say I have never gotten to the end of a race having done so little work," said Emma Pooley, elated over her win. “I have the most awesome team behind me. I didn't have to do anything at all. We had a really good team any of them could have won today. We have really good climbers they did absolutely everything. On the first climb at the Mur de Huy we had four girls in the front group. I wouldn’t have won on the Mur if the riders on the other teams hadn’t been so tired from taking down the other girls. Basically it was them who won the race. All I had to do was the last kilometre it was really easy (laughs). I attacked a little early on the really steep part, the ‘s’ bend. I was supposed to wait for the team but attacked a little earlier because I was really impatient and a bit nervous that I might fall off my bike in all the excitement! So I went a bit early, and I had a gap but you never know on the Mur whether someone comes back at the end. It's only three hundred metres from there but it feels like miles. "I had to take advantage of the steep section because my power is rubbish, it's only my strength to weight that is okay. Of course you can't do that unless you get to the end fresh. I can never usually do that because I waste a lot of energy, but today I had my team protecting me. It was like being baby sat the whole way. Last year I said I’ve never win a World Cup again and said the same thing this year. But this is not any World Cup it has a lot of tradition. It’s a big race and my coach told me, he thought one day I’d win it and I said no, I could never win this race. But it’s not me who won it. It’s the team. We had Claudia Häusler (GER) as the captain on the road. She was making the decisions, very calm, she knows what she’s doing and another time she’ll win it too, maybe next year.”
“We had a team meeting last night and set our goals. In the first lap of 80 kilometres, entering the Mur for the first time, our riders would not do too much,” explained Egon van Kessel, sport director. “I told them if one or two riders attack, we don’t care, don’t attack it is not a problem for us if that happens. On the second ascent, I think Emma was already the first on the top. Just after Emma, Regina made an attack, that was also a little bit calculated between Regina and myself, putting a lot of pressure on the other teams and that was a big advantage for our team. So with fifteen riders we entered the last climb of the Mur where we said Emma could attack, as it was the best place, just before the steep part of the climb. As you know she won which was really great. For us, the winning of La Fléche Wallonne was a big goal. These two races - Flanders for the women and La Fléche Wallonne they are really top ranked. If you win one or both of these, that is something. We were close at Flanders and now today, we’ve done a good job. It’s not easy to win, even though we have a strong team. Also beating Vos on her own mountain, the Mur is the Vos mountain, that is a very strong performance I think.”
La Fleche Wallonne Féminine 2010: Huy-Huy 109km
1. Emma Pooley (GBR) - Cervélo TestTeam 2. Nicole Cooke (GBR) - Great Britain 3. Emma Johansson (SWE) - Redsun Cycling Team
Geert Broekhuizen - Public Relations