Women's World Cup comes to UK

Welsh cycling star Nicole Cooke will get the chance to win a top-level race on her home turf on...

Welsh cycling star Nicole Cooke will get the chance to win a top-level race on her home turf on Saturday August 20 2005 when the Welsh town of Newport becomes the first ever British venue to host a round of the women's road World Cup.

The race, the eighth round of the series, was officially launched yesterday by Alun Pugh AM, Minister for Culture, the Welsh Language and Sport at The Celtic Manor Resort. As part of the celebrations surrounding the race, there will also be BikeWales, a major bike ride open to the general public, taking place on Sunday August 21 .

The 3 lap, 71 mile (114km) race will be broadcast live by BBC Grandstand, and over 30 professional teams are expected to take part.

Nicole Cooke won the 2003 World Cup series, becoming the first British rider to take the title, and is currently 4th in this year's standings. She had a strong start to the series, winning first place ahead of the pack at La Fleche Wallonne in Belgium. Looking forward to extending her record of wins, she is delighted at the boost to British women's cycling that the Newport World Cup will mean: "I've competed twice before at the Celtic Manor and it will be a fantastic venue for the first International standard women's race in Britain for nearly a decade," said Cooke.

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