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Vos snares World Cup glory from Cooke's grasp

Marianne Vos celebrates

Marianne Vos celebrates (Image credit: CJ Farquharson)

By Greg Johnson

Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) has claimed the 2007 Women's World Cup in a sensational finale in Germany. The Dutch youngster entered the series final in second place, 80 points behind leader Nicole Cooke (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) as an outside chance for the title, but made the most of double points on offer to claim the round's victory and the overall World Cup.

"I knew that I had a chance today because the race here generally finishes in a sprint and I am better at this," explained an elated Vos. "Also, because here double points can be earned. We put everything on a sprint in this race and I must say that I have been launched perfectly by my team-mate Adrie Visser. In the Holland Ladies Tour it didn't work a number of times, but here the finish ran slightly uphill and that was to my advantage."

The 20 year-old did everything she could to claim the women's World Cup by taking victory, the rest was in Cooke's hands with the Briton needing to finish on the podium to marginally hold on to her World Cup lead. Instead, the two-time World Cup winner was forced to concede her crown to the reigning Women's World Road Champion Vos, as she battled a reoccurring knee injury to finish in 34th spot.

"I didn't want to gift this to Vos without a fight," Cooke, who had been confident of claiming her third title on the weekend, told "It was a terrific ride by her, the pressure was on and she came up with the goods.

"On the day I just couldn't do anything more because of my knee injury. Marianne won and I must be very proud of my second place," added Cooke.

Vos added that while the victory wasn't crucial to her season, it's a good indication of her form heading into the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, where she will defend her world crown in two weeks' time. "I knew that I could not go for the World Cup next year because then the Olympic Games is my focus," she explained. "If I had not won, it wasn't a concern, but this is a very beautiful victory to have on my palmarès and a sign that I am in form two weeks before the World Championships in Stuttgart."

The tight battle, which saw the overall standings swing into Vos' favour by some 70 points, is likely to set up a rivalry that will play out over the years to follow between two of the sport's most talented women. "I am disappointed with the final result as I wanted to be the first person to win the World Cup for the third time," noted Cooke. "Next year I will be back and I am determined to win it."

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