British road race national championships 2010 photo gallery by Andy Jones>> 

After nine consecutive years of dominance, Nicole Cooke has finally been beaten in the National Road Race Championship. It took all that the Cervelo Test Team could throw at her, but in the end Emma Pooley clipped-off on the last uphill of the day to take the win.

“I can’t believe it,” exclaimed Pooley immediately after crossing the line in the village of Barley, Lancashire.

Pooley had been a member of a four rider group that broke free on the first full lap of racing after the event had been restarted. Also comprising Cooke and Pooley’s two team mates Sharon Laws and Lizzie Armitstead, the advantage lay very much with the Cervelo riders.

Cooke put up a valiant defence of her title, putting in attacks and splitting the group a number of times on the tough 7.5 mile circuit. As the race approached the finish, it looked like she might even have the measure of her rivals. But as Pooley explained:

“If it came to a sprint finish, Lizzie could win. If I wanted to win, I had to get away. Sharon Laws was the same. The net result is that Nicole had to cover everything.”

Cooke almost did. But in the last mile, she seemingly had too many riders to watch and allowed Pooley to get a small gap on the ramp up towards the shady, flat run-in to the finish. Given an inch, Pooley took a yard.

“It was accidental really,” Pooley said. “Everyone was playing cat and mouse so I went on the front to stop us getting caught from behind. Then Nicole was watching Lizzie for the sprint and left a gap. So I thought ‘I’m going’.”

With Pooley crossing the line alone, Armitstead outsprinted Cooke for second place. Laws took fourth while Katie Colclough soloed in behind for fifth. With Armitstead and Colcough also taking the top two places in the under-23 championship, Emma Trott -recently recovered from breaking her collarbone in Belgium- completed the podium.

Unfortunately the race had to be stopped on the first lap following a nasty pile-up on the steep descent around the back of the course. It’s thought that 14 riders were involved and at least two were hospitalised. Although details are still sketchy, one rider is said to have suffered back injuries, another a broken leg.

1 Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) 48km in 1-28-59

2 Lizzie Armitstead (Cervelo Test Team) at 8sec
3 Nicole Cooke (Nicole at same time
4 Sharon Laws (Cervelo Test Team) st
5 Katie Colcough (100% Me) at 2-02
6 Emma Trott (Moving Ladies) at 2-16
7 Natalie Creswick (Twickenham CC) st
8 Kara Chesworth (Dysynni CC) at 3-32
9 Sarah Storey (Horizon Fitness RT) at 3-34
10 Joanna Rowsell (BC private member) at 5-39

Under 23
1 Lizzie Armitstead
2 Katie Colclough
3 Emma Trott

Women's race, British road race national championships 2010

Emma Pooley in the decisive move of the race

Emma Pooley wins women's title, British road race national championships 2010

An emotional Emma Pooley crosses the line

Emma Pooley wins women's title, British road race national championships 2010

All smiles: Emma Pooley takes the British women’s title

Related links

Thomas wins men’s national title

  • old hedgey

    Hang on a minute, I may be mistaken but is not ‘team riding’ an offence in National Championships? The Commisaires have a bit of a mixed record in these races over the last few years, have they made a serious error here? No wonder Nicole Cooke has voiced her unhappiness about the event’s conduct on CeeFax

  • Hugh Gladstone

    The crash happened on the first lap on a steep descent. We understand that one rider lost control and went into the hedge, possibly taking out a couple of other riders. An official’s car then stopped on the scene and several more dropped riders ploughed into the back of it. Most riders escaped with cuts and bruises. Today, we asked BC president Brian Cookson if he had any more details on the riders hospitalised. Apparently the worst injury was a broken elbow. Another rider who was admitted to hospital on a spinal board was discharged without any major back problems. Because the accident happened on a narrow and remote part of the course and required the attendance of an ambulance, Mr Cookson said “there was not too much we could do about stopping it.”

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 77in Thailand

    It’s Monday now,can someone tell me about the crash that neccessitated the the race be cut in half.?

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 77in Thailand

    Looks like the race was cut short due to the crash,but hardly a championship at 48km.,reminds me of the Beryl Burton era !!To shorten the race by about 90 minutes seems a bit much,probably so the men’s event could start on time.,must have been a mess then,that’s the problem with a cicuit on narrow roads,and two “long’ events the same day.Tell me more.