High Road?s Judith Arndt has won the women?s Tour of Flanders, the third round of the World Cup.
The German veteran outsprinted American Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo) after they got away with a late attack six kilometres from the finish. Kirsten Wild (AA-Drink) won the bunch sprint for third place.
Nicole Cooke (Halfords) finished in the bunch but as usual she was in the thick of the action, while Emma Pooley (Specialized) admitted she struggled on the cobbles and bergs of Flanders.
Cooke counter-attacked on the Grammont with Arndt to go across to a good break but then missed the decisive attack by the German in the finale. She bravely tried to jump across in the final two kilometres but was caught by the bunch and passed by the sprinters in the finishing straight.
?I knew my form wasn?t at the top but there was a chance I could get on the podium. It almost came off.?
?I made a move on the Geraardsbergen with Judith Arndt and we got up to the leaders. A bigger group joined but then Arndt and Armstrong got away.?
16th in the race, Cooke was not happy but Arndt was all smiles after an impressive team performance from High Road.
?I won thanks to great team work. It was a perfect race for High Road,? Arndt said.
?We wanted to be aggressive today but we didn?t feel under pressure. It really was a perfect race from everybody. I followed on the muur because my team mate was in the break, but then we bridged up there and we had a numerical advantage.?
Britain’s Emma Pooley (Specialized) finished 42nd and lost the leader’s jersey in the World Cup. She is now third overall behind Dutchwoman Suzanne De Goede (Nurnberger).
Britain’s Nicole Cooke (Halfords-Bikehut) grits it out to come 16th. Photo by Andy Jones
Main photo: Judith Arndt by Luc Claessen/ISPA