Nicole Cooke (Vision 1) planned to have a relaxed start to the season after her double Olympic and world title success in 2008. However, the Welsh woman always loves to race and was in the thick of the action at the Tour of Flanders, finishing an impressive fourth in the sprint finish in Ninove.

The race was won by Germany?s Ina Yoko Teutenberg, who managed to stay with the big favourites on the climbs and then dominated the sprint. Cooke tried to go up the left side and passed several riders before the line.

?That?s a solid result and I?m really happy with my own ride and how we rode as a team. With six kilometres to go I knew it would be a sprint and so hoped that after a hard race I?d be competitive with Tuetenberg and the others. Unfortunately I wasn?t,? she told Cycling Weekly.

?I?m happy with that considering that my season is based on next September but I?m a racer and always want to do my best.?

More later

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