Pooley solos to Flèche Wallonne victory
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pooley solos to Flèche Wallonne victory

by Ben Atkins at 9:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results, Flèche Wallonne

Emma Pooley (Cervélo TestTeam) won the Flèche Wallonne Femmes, the fourth round of the Women’s World Cup, after attacking on the steepest section of the Mur de Huy. Pooley beat compatriot Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) in a British 1-2, denying the Olympic champion a record-breaking fourth win in the race. Cooke outsprinted Emma Johansson (RedSun Cycling), who took third place.

"I have to say I have never gotten to the end of a race having done so little work," said the ever-modest Pooley. “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.

“I attacked a little early on the really steep part, the ‘s’ bend,” explained the Briton. “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!”

Pooley adds la Flèche Wallonne to a growing list of World Cup wins that includes the Trofeo Alfredo Binda (2008), La Coupe du Monde Cycliste Féminine de Montréal and the Grand Prix de Plouay-Bretagne (both 2009).

The early stages of the race were punctuated by solo attacks, first from Great Britain’s Emma Trott then from Sigrid Corneo (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo). Alona Andruk (Safi-Pasta Zara) managed to make a break stick though on the Côte de Groynne after 49km and the Russian managed to stay clear until the first ascent of the Mur with 29km to go.

A number of attacks on the steep climb decimated the peloton, with Regina Bruins (Cervélo TestTeam) breaking clear. The Dutch rider managed to pull out a lead of 45 seconds over a chasing group, but was caught on the Côte d’Ereffe with less than 10km to go. A group of 17 riders, led by HTC-Columbia’s Noemi Cantele approached the finish together.

The group included: Marianne Vos and Annemiek Van Vleuten (both Nederland Bloeit), Tatiana Guderzo (Valdarno), Cantele, Judith Arndt and Evelyn Stevens (all HTC-Columbia), Claudia Häusler, Bruins and Pooley (all Cervélo TestTeam), Emma Johansson (RedSun Cycling), Grace Verbeke (Lotto Ladies), Edita Pucinskaite (Gauss-RDZ-Ormu), Nicole Cooke (Great Britain), Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau (Vienne-Futuroscope) and Ruth Corset (Tibco). Ferrier-Bruneau and Corset crashed on railway lines at the entrance to the town of Huy though, reducing the group to 15.

Pooley was the first to attack, on the Mur’s steepest section, and the move stuck as she finished 8 seconds clear of Cooke and Johansson. Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Verbeke held on to finish 4th, with Stevens coming in fifth, five seconds later.

World Cup leader Vos, the winner of the past three editions of the race, finished sixth and keeps her lead in the season long competition.

1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
2. Nicole Cooke (GBr) Great Britain National Team @ 8s
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) RedSun Cycling
4. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies @ 12s
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia @ 17s
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 22s
7. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Team Valdarno
8. Elena Berlato (Ita) Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo-Ghezzi @ 27s
9. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Columbia @ 40s
10. Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita) Safi-Pasta Zara @ 42s

World Cup standings after 4 rounds
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit 155pts
2. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies 114
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) RedSun Cycling 101
4. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam 78
5. Nicole Cooke (GBr) Great Britain National Team 82


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