Britain’s Emma Pooley (Garmin-Cervelo) has won the opening round of the UCI Women’s World Cup series, soloing to take victory in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy on Sunday.
British national road race champion Pooley attacked a truncated bunch to quickly distance herself from her rivals and take her second win at the event – she also won the race back in 2008.
It ended up being a 69km successful solo break for Pooley, who escaped on the flat to surprise her rivals. “We as a team were pretty aggressive, attacking whenever we could. Mine was one of many that happened to stick,” she told Cycling Weekly.
“There was a moment where we’d had the descent, it was slowing down again, I carried on up the side of the group where there was space and it’s always better to attack from behind when people aren’t expecting it. It was just a good moment,” Pooley added.
Pooley tired in the final lap, but had plenty of time to celebrate her first win of the year. Not that she was taking any risks. “Anything can go wrong, I was super cautious on the descent. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being on your own and crashing and losing it”
“But with 200 to go, I looked over my shoulder and realized they weren’t going to catch me.”
Sweden’s Emma Johansson (Hitec) came second at one minute and 32 seconds, with Dutch woman Annemiek Van Vleuten (Olanda) in third. Britain’s Nicole Cooke (MCipollini) was one of many riders who did not finish the race.
Last season Pooley finished eighth overall in the season-long World Cup series after winning two rounds: Fleche Wallonne in April and GP Plouay in August.
The 2010 World Cup was won overall by Marianne Vos of the Netherlands.
The next round of the 2011 UCI Women’s World Cup is the Tour of Flanders on Sunday, April 3.
UCI Women’s world cup, round one: Trofeo Alfredo Binda, 121.4km
1. Emma Pooley (GB) Garmin-Cervelo
2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products at 1-32
3. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Netherlands
4. Martine Bras (Ned) Dolmans Landscaping Team
5. Shelley Olds (USA) Diadora-Pasta Zara
6. Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien
7. Judith Ardnt (Ger) HTC-Highroad all same time
8. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Belgium at 1-33
9. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) France
10. Lucina Brand (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien at same time
21. Sharon Laws (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-33
39. Lucy Martin (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 11-30
DNF Nicole Cooke (GB) MCipollini