World and Olympic road-race champion Nicole Cooke abandoned the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche yesterday.
Before the fourth stage to Cruas, she had previously been positioned thirteenth overall. Cooke won the opening stage of last year's race.
The 26-year-old confirmed that poor condition was behind her unplanned withdrawal. “Bad form, pulled out," she told Cycling Weekly.
It remains to be seen whether the Welsh star can turn things around for the defence of her rainbow jersey in a fortnight's time.
Cooke is currently considering whether to race again before the world championships in Mendrisio (September 23-27), one of her main goals for the season.
Since her Vision 1 team folded after financial problems in early August, Cooke has been racing in the colours of the Great Britain national team.
The other squad members racing in the Ardèche are Anna Blyth, Katie Colclough, Nikki Harris, Sharon Laws and Lucy Martin. Laws is the best-placed team member, lying in ninth place overall.
Lizzie Armitstead, riding for trade team Lotto Belisol, is in third place, after back-to-back second place stage finishes.
RELATED LINKS Vision 1 face tough timesNicole Cooke rider profile
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Five talking points from stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia
Our highlights from a stage where the GC contenders rolled in eight minutes behind the day's winner
By Stephen Puddicombe • Published
Giro d'Italia 2022 standings: Results from the 105th edition after stage 15
The latest standings from the 105th edition of the Giro d'Italia
By Adam Becket • Published