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Cooke wins GP de Plouay


Britain’s Nicole Cooke sprinted to victory Saturday in the Grand Prix de Plouay, the seventh round of the women’s World Cup.

The high pace, nearly 40 km/h, saw to it that there were few attacks until just before midrace, when Jeannie Longo attacked and exploded the group. She was retrieved, however, and 2002 French champion Magali Floc’h took a shot, building a gap of four minutes with four laps to go. She, too, was eventually brought back, and Longo attacked once more, again without success.

Then Juliette Vandekerckhove jumped away, and with two laps remaining she held a lead of 20 seconds over a group of eight chasers, including Joane Somarriba, winner of the Grande Boucle Féminin.

On the final climb of the Cote de Ti Marrek, four riders went clear, with Cooke beating the fastest path to the finish ahead of Germany’s Judith Arndt, Dutchwoman Mirjam Melchers and Somarriba.

Cooke, 20, leads the World Cup with 282 points, followed by Australia’s Sara Carrigan with 164 and Mirjam Melchers of the Netherlands with 159. –Copyright 2003/AFP

1. Nicole Cooke (GB), 113km ein 2:59:45 (average speed: 37,719 km/h)
2. Judith Arndt (G), s.t.
3. Mirjam Melchers (Ned), s.t.
4. Joane Sommariba (Sp), s.t.
5. Juliette Vandekerckhove (F), at 0:25
6. Arenda Grimberg (Ned), at 0:25
7. Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lit), at 0:25
8. Maribel Moreno Allue (Sp), at 0:30
9. Lyne Bessette (Can), at 1:02
10. Regina Schleicher (G), at 1:21

World Cup overall (after 7 of 9 events)
1. Nicole Cooke (GB), 282 pts
2. Sara Carrigan (Aus), 164
3. Mirjam Melchers (Ned), 159
4. Judith Arndt (G), 157
5. Regina Schleicher (G), 131
6. Anita Valen (Nor), 97
7. Zoulfia Zabirova (Rus), 94
8. Olivia Gollan (Aus), 89
9. Katie Mactier (Aus), 80
10. Edita Pucinskaite (Lit), 76

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