A solid fourth place in the Tour of Berne World Cup round on Sunday has kept Nicole Cooke (Raleigh-Lifeforce) in the overall lead of the series. The hilly race was won by Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite of the Nurnberger team.

Cooke formed part of a small chase group behind Pucinskaite that finished just ahead of the bunch. The group, including Pucinskaite had formed on the final climb, then the Lithuanian took off with 10 kilometres to go to finish 11 seconds ahead.

?She attacked in exactly the right spot and in the right way, coming from the back of the group and accelerating strongly, so she could stay away right to the finish.? Cooke told CW?s website.

Cooke then played a tactical game. ?I knew that [World Champion Marianne] Vos, [also in the chase group], has a stronger sprint than me, so I wasn?t going to work just to put her in a position to win.?

Vos took the sprint behind Pucinskaite for second, and now has a total of 195 points in the series. Cooke nonetheless remains in the overall lead with 251.

?Obviously I would like to have done better, but in general I was pleased with how the race worked out.? Cooke said.

The next round of the women?s World Cup is in Montreal on June 2nd.


1 PUCINSKAITE Edita (Nurnberger) 3-06-33

2 VOS Marianne (DSB) at 11 sec

3 WOOD Oenene (T-Mobile)

4 COOKE Nicole (Raleigh-Lifeforce)

5 LUTZ Eva (Nurnberger)

6 GRAUS Andrea (Nurnberger)

7 GOOR Sofie (Vlaanderen)

8 VAN DEN BROEK Irene (AA-Drink)

9 PITEL Edwige (Uniqa)

10 GILMORE Rochelle (Menikini) all st.