Emma Pooley Olympic Games 2008

Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws and Nicole Cooke are in superb form with the World Championships approaching.

The trio were all in the top six of the Tour Cycliste Fémine Ardèche, which finished on Sunday.

Olympic road race champion Cooke won the opening stage in Beauchastel and will have high hopes of doing the double by winning the road race at the World Championships in Varese, Italy (September 27).

Although Cooke lost the leader?s jersey to Austria?s Christiane Soeder on stage two, she held the points competition and sprints competition jerseys, while Pooley took an early lead in the queen of the mountains classification.

Pooley then won stage four in Crusas, outsprinting breakaway companion Amber Neben of the USA at the finish after opening a lead of 5-33 over the next group, containing Cooke. Laws was just three seconds back.

So after four stages, Pooley was second overall, 1-25 behind Neben, with Cooke in fourth place and Laws ninth. Cooke still held the sprints and points competition leads and Pooley was still best climber.

Cooke was then second on stage five.

On the final stage to Bourg-Saint-Andéol, Laws broke away but was beaten by Sweden?s Susanne Ljungskog by a single second at the finish.

It meant all three British riders finished in the top six overall, making them the team to watch at the world championships.

Pooley will hope to improve on her silver medal in the Olympic time trial. And Great Britain have a seven-strong team for the World Championship road race. Cooke, Pooley and Laws will be joined by Rachel Heal, Jessica Allen, Lizzie Armitstead and Catherine Hare.


Final overall standings after six stages

1. Amber Neben (USA) Team Flexpoint in 16-04-40

2. Emma Pooley (GB) Great Britain at 1-50

3. Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Flexpoint at 4-26

4. Emma Johansson (Swe) Redsun at 5-31

5. Sharon Laws (GB) Great Britain at 5-49

6. Nicole Cooke (GB) Great Britain at 5-54

19. Jessica Allen (GB) Great Britain at 21-15

21. Emma Silversides (GB) Lotto-Belisol at 21-30

41. Catherine Hare (GB) Great Britain at 54-52

Points competition Nicole Cooke

Queen of the mountains Emma Pooley

Sprints competition Nicole Cooke

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