Cooke takes lead in Emakumeen Bira

Nicole Cooke Oct 2008

Nicole Cooke has taken the lead in the Emakumeen Bira, a four-day five-stage race in Spain, after winning stage two.

The Vision 1 leader won Friday's 84 kilometre stage based on a loop, starting and finishing in Amurrio. It was a rolling stage with one category two climb that came about half way through the narrow and twisting circuit.

Cooke took her first win of the season, taking the sprint from the front bunch of around 40 rider after a technical one kilometre sprint filled with round-abouts and with an uphill surge to the line.

Thanks to the win and her second place in the first stage, Nicole now holds the overall race lead going into stage three. With several riders placed well in the bunch, Cooke's Vision 1 team have defended their lead in the team competition.

A delighted Cooke said: "I am really pleased with how Vision 1 Racing are riding as a team and the girls are working really hard for me. It's great to get my first stage win of the season."

Saturday's stage three has two halves: Stage 3a is a 2.2km uphill time trial from Iurreta to Goiuria.  Stage 3b is a 79 kilometre loop out of Elgoibar with two category three climbs, one of which is close enough to the finish to potentially create some time gaps

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