Olympic and World chapmion Nicole Cooke secured the overall victory in the Giro di Trentino, winning the challenging second and final stage to clinch the title along with the points jersey.
Friday's 106 km stage began in the harbour of Riva at the Lake of Garda, and the first long uphill led the peloton 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.
The first serious acceleration was initiated by Columbia-Highroad's Judith Arndt with 2km to go before the summit, pulling away a select group on the descent to Mezzolombardo.
In the final 20 km, five women: Nicole Cooke, her Team Vision 1 teammate Vicki Whitelaw, Carla Ryan (Cervelo TestTeam), Svetlana Bubenkova (Fenixs) and Kim Anderson (Columbia-Highroad) established a lead of 1:30. With Vicki Whitelaw doing strong turns on the front together with Nicole and Bubnenkova and keeping the tempo high, the break's lead grew up to 3:48 at the foot of the final 7km climb to Faedo.
Bubnenkova set the tempo at the base of 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, the Briton put in her bid for victory. Cooke crossed the line with an eight second advantage to win the stage and Tour, adding another great win to her palmares.
"The decisive break was created on the descent and it was an opportunity to put in some big time to the other GC contenders," said Whitelaw. "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!"
"This was a really special day because it was our teamwork which made this possible," said Cooke. "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."
|1||Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1 Racing||3:07:12|
|2||Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervelo Testteam||0:00:08|
|3||Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs||0:00:18|
|4||Kimberly Anderson (USA) Team Columbia-Highroad||0:00:31|
|5||Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia-Highroad||0:05:25|
|6||Mara Abbott (USA) Team Columbia-Highroad||0:05:29|
|7||Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervelo Testteam||0:05:31|
|8||Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Team Dila' Kuota||0:05:41|
|9||Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Selle Italia Ghezzi||0:05:59|
|10||Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung||0:06:11|
|1||Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1 Racing|
|2||Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervelo Testteam||0:00:16|
|3||Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs||0:00:20|
|4||Kimberly Anderson (USA) Team Columbia-Highroad||0:00:39|
|5||Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia-Highroad||0:05:27|
|6||Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervelo Testteam||0:05:33|
|7||Mara Abbott (USA) Team Columbia-Highroad||0:05:37|
|8||Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Team Dila' Kuota||0:05:43|
|9||Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Selle Italia Ghezzi||0:06:01|
|10||Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung||0:06:13|
|1||Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1 Racing||27||pts|
|2||Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervelo Testteam||12|
|3||Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs||10|
|4||Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia-Highroad||10|
|1||Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs||45||pts|
|2||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Vision 1 Racing||33|
|3||Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1 Racing||15|
|4||Karin Thürig (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team||15|
|5||Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervelo Testteam||12|
|1||Marina Romoli (Ita) Selle Italia Ghezzi|
|2||Romy Kasper (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung||0:02:52|
|3||Alona Andruk (Ukr) Safi -Pasta Zara Titanedi||0:03:14|
|4||Lorena Foresi (Ita) Selle Italia Ghezzi||0:03:20|
|5||Emilie Aubry (Swi) Cervelo TestTeam||0:03:53|