Nicole Cooke (Raleigh-Lifeforce) failed to win her third consecutive women?s World Cup event in Holland on Saturday but held on to her lead in the season-long competition despite finishing only seventh in the 136-km Ronde van Drenthe race.
Cooke was part of the decisive break that also included world champion Marianne Vos that formed on the last climb but it was another Dutch rider, track specialist Adrie Visser, who came out winner. She went across to the break and then made a late attack with France?s Elodie Touffet and then beat her in the sprint. The remains of the break were caught by the bunch at the line but Vos hung on for third place ahead of Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile), while Cooke finished seventh.
It was 23 year-old Visser?s first World Cup win but she recently showed her talent on the track in Majorca by winning the bronze medal in the scratch race. Visser scored 75 points for her World Cup win but is still 96 points behind Cooke, who now has a total of 171 points.
Cooke will be determined to extend her lead even further in the Fleche-Wallonne race on April 25, a race she has already won three times.