Nicole Cooke in good shape again
After her second place in Stage 1 on Thursday Nicole Cooke won the very hard second and final part of the Giro di Trentino, and with that also the overall, and the Points Jersey.
Team Vision 1 showed again an impressive performance and the results from the last 2 weeks show that Nicole Cooke's project has to be taken seriously. Friday's 106 km stage began in the harbour of Riva at the Lake of Garda, and the first long uphill lead the peleton up to 1057m to Andalo. Up until this point Christel Ferrier Bruneau kept all the climbing specialists busy by fighting for the Green Mountain's Jersey stopping other riders attacking. The first serious acceleration was initiated by Judith Arndt with 2km to go before the summit with the result that the bunch was much smaller when the long downhill to Mezzolombardo began. A break away group formed on the down hill and in the following flat 20 km this 5 woman breakaway with Nicole Cooke, her Team Vision 1 team mate Vicki Whitelaw, Carla Ryan (Cervelo), Svetlana Bubenkova (Fenixs) and Kim Anderson (Columbia) established a lead of 1min 30. With Vicki Whitelaw doing strong turns on the front together with Nicole and Bubnenkova and keeping the tempo high while Ryan and Anderson just followed the break's lead grew up to 3min48 at the foot of the final 7km climb to Faedo. Initially Bubnenkova set the tempo up the climb, then with 3km to go Ryan and Cooke took the lead. Entering the final kilometre with a gradient of 14% Ryan attacked, Cooke responded and then with 400m to go put in her bid for victory. Ryan could not stay with Cooke and Nicole crossed the line with 8 seconds advantage to win the Stage and Tour, adding another great win to her palmares.
Vicki, the driving force of the break away said "The decisive break was created on the descent and it was an opportunity to put in some big time to the other GC contenders, I felt Vision 1 was in a powerful position having Nicole and I in this break and although the pressure was on us to take the responsibility for the work we worked really hard and relished the chance to show what team work could achieve!"
Nicole said "This was a really special day because it was our team work which made this possible, Vicki sacrificed herself to give me the chance to go for the victory and worked incredibly in the 20km after the descent before the final climb started. I knew I had 2 seconds advantage over everyone in the break because of the split in the bunch in Stage 1 so the minimum I had to do was cross the line with the others, but this was a great way to win and show how well Team Vision 1 is doing."
Team Vision 1 now have a new website. www.vision1cycling.com
Gayle Howells - Vision 1 Racing Media & Marketing