Women’s road race photo gallery by Luc Claessen>>

Nicole Cooke?s huge smile as she faced the press after winning her World Championships title said it all. First Olympic champion and now the rainbow jersey of 2008 were hers: this was a victory that was well worth all the effort.

Cooke could have taken it easy after winning the Olympics and who would have blamed her? Instead, she came back firing on all cylinders yet again for the World Championships – and reaped the benefits big time.

After two bronze medals as well as a silver in the road-race in the last five years, Cooke has finally cracked the World Championships .And almost the first thing she said was that taking gold in Beijing had made her far more relaxed going into the race at Varese.

?I?m very happy and very proud with what I acheived today,? Cooke said.

?I was very relaxed because I had won at the Olympics and that was the big objective of the year.

?We had a nice team plan, nothing too complicated. We just wanted to try our best, do what we could as the race developed and give it everything in the finale.

?I did quite a good race, I took my own decisions, and reacted to whoever was attacking.

?I knew if I gave my best then it would be the best I could do.?

Silver medallist Marianne Vos of Holland explained that she too had gone 100 percent in the finale, but that cramps had let her down in the last sprint against Cooke.

?Maybe I shouldn?t have attacked earlier on and paid the price, but I went for it anyway. I felt good, I had to give it everything.?

?It was a great finish,? pointed out Judith Arndt of Germany, already bronze in the time trial and who added another bronze medal in the road-race.

?The attacks never stopped, there was a lot happening. It was very exciting. We tried everything we could, but Cooke was too strong.?

ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008

NEWS
Cooke: “We wanted to do our best”
Bettini to retire after World Champs
GB gunning for medals in under-23 road race
Millar and Cummings disappointed with TT result
Thursday’s World Champs news
Millar and Cummings ready for Elite men’s time trial
World Champs men’s time trial course notes
Pooley and Laws talk before Worlds time trial
Pooley to use special time trial bars again
British under-23 TT riders finish out of the top 30
Daniel Martin selected for Irish under-23 worlds team
British team heads to Varese with genuine medal hopes
Cancellara to miss World Championships
Swift a close second in final race before Worlds
Rob Hayles on why he’s not riding the Worlds
GB Women’s Worlds team confirmed
British Worlds team starts to take shape
Geraint Thomas called up to Worlds team to replace Cavendish
Mark Cavendish pulls out of Worlds team

RACE REPORTS
Men’s road race: Ballan solos home for World Champs win
Women’s road race: Cooke powers to gold
Under-23 men’s road race: Colombian takes gold, Swift fourth
Men’s time trial: Grabsch grabs the win
Women’s time trial: America’s Amber Neben takes title
Under-23 time trial: report, results, photos

PHOTOS
Women’s road race photo gallery by Luc Claessen
Under-23 men’s road race, by Graham Watson
Men’s time trial, by Luc Claessen
Women’s time trial, by Graham Watson
Under-23 men’s time trial
2007 World Champs: Men’s road race
2007 World Champs: Women’s road race

2008 WORLD CHAMPS GUIDE
Preview>>
TV coverage guide>>
Brits in the men’s world road race 1998-2007>>
Brits in the women’s world road race 1998-2007>>
Brits in the under-23 world road race 1998-2007>>
Britain’s road world championships medal winners>>