Cooke recons the Ronde

Second in La Primavera Rosa last weekend, Nicole Cooke (Safi-Pasta Zara-Manhattan) travelled to Belgium this week to reconnoitre the women's Tour of Flanders, which will be ridden the same day as the men's race on Sunday, April 3. Cooke did the 110 km parcours and 12 climbs accompanied by a reporter from race organisers Het Nieuwsblad, and found it a worthwhile experience.

"My brother, an ex-amateur, had warned me that it was mad to come to Flanders without seeing the parcours beforehand," Cooke told the newspaper. "He was right: never have I seen such a muddle of cobbles and rough little climbs."

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