emma pooley Fléche Wallonne cervelo, News -

Emma Pooley takes Fléche Wallonne Féminine.


Briton’s Emma Pooley (Cervelo TestTeam) confirmed she is one of the best climbers in women’s cycling by winning Flèche Wallonne with a strong attack on the Muy de Huy climb.

Pooley had earlier been well protected by her teammates, while her rivals were forced to chase other attacks, and so was able to give her all on the climb to the finish. She managed to distance fellow Briton Nicole Cooke (Great Britain) on the steepest section of the Mur de Hut and won by eight seconds. Emma Johansson (Redsun) was third, also at eight seconds. Belgium’s Grace Verbeke (Lotto Ladies Team) was fourth at 12 seconds and the USA’s Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) was an impressive fifth at 17 seconds.

Pooley has won other World Cup races but was overjoyed with victory on the Mur de Huy.

“Last year I said I thought I’d never win a World Cup again and said the same thing this year. But this is not any World Cup, it has a lot of tradition,” Pooley said as she fought to regain her breath after the steepest final kilometre in professional racing.

“My coach said that one day I’d win it and I told him not to be stupid but it’s not me that’s won, it’s the team and the way the directeur told me to ride. I’ve never got to the end of a race without having to do so little work because I had the most awesome team behind me. They did absolutely everything for me. After the first time up the Mur, we had four girls in the front group. It came back but I wouldn’t have won if the other favourites weren’t all tired from chasing the attacks. They (my teammates) won the race. I just had to do the last kilometre.”

Pooley start the Mur on the shoulder of Evelyn Stevens because she knew the young but talented American would be a threat. She then took advantage of her strength to weight ratio to win.

“I went just before the S bend. I was supposed to wait for the steep section but I got impatient and was nervous I’d fall off my bike in the excitement, so I went a bit early,” she said. “I could see I had a gap but you can never know if some one will come back. It’s only 300 metres from the line but it feels like miles.”

“I had to take advantage of the steep section because my power is rubbish, it’s only my strength to weight that is okay. Of course you can’t do that unless you get to the end fresh. I can never usually do that because I waste a lot of energy but today it was like the team babysat me all the way.”

Fléche Wallonne Féminine, 109km

1    Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    3:01:27
2    Nicole Cooke (GBr) Grande-Bretagne    0:00:08
3    Emma Johansson (Swe) Redsun Cycling Team
4    Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies Team    0:00:12
5    Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC Columbia Women    0:00:17
6    Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit    0:00:22
7    Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Team Valdarno
8    Elena Berlato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo – Ghezzi    0:00:27
9    Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC Columbia Women    0:00:40
10    Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita) Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan    0:00:42
11    Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    0:00:44
12    Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit    0:00:47
13    Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervelo Test Team    0:00:58
14    Claudia Hausler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team    0:01:04

More information: www.cyclingnews.com