Nicole Cooke wins Britain's first gold at Beijing Olympic Games 2008-08-10 19:07:26   Print

    BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cyclist Nicole Cooke won Britain's first gold at the Beijing Olympic Games after wining the women's road race here on Sunday.

    Cooke dashed out of the leading group with less than 400 meters to go, and clocked three hours, 32 minutes and 24 seconds to claim the title.

    The British girl was elated about her winning, saying: "It is a dream come true. We did it. I worked really hard for this race, and prepared well."

    "She has prepared all the year for this race and it got paid off," coach Brailsfor Dave said. "The team pinned hope on her. It wasn't just her. The whole team got it spot on."

    Emma Johansson of Sweden took the silver while Tatiana Guderzo of Italy got the bronze.

    The Italian already set her eyes on the world championship after winning her first Olympic medal.

    "I did pretty well today, and now I do not want to think about much of the race and what I have accomplished, but to figure out what I need to do in the world championship in Varese," Tatiana Guderzo said.

    Christiane Soeder of Austria and Linda Villumsen of Denmark were distanced on the final climb to the line, but held on to take fourth and fifth. Race favourite Marianne Vos of the Netherlands led in the main group to take sixth.

    Chinese cyclist Gao Min finished 16th, taking the best result for Chinese cyclists in the Olympic cycling road race. Her teammate Meng Lang was 48th on the board.

    "We had indeed made some progress during the past two years, but compared with top European cyclists, we still have a long to go, especially in techniques. But I believe that we will do better," Gao said.

    French legend, the 49-year-old Longo Ciprelli Jeannie, ended 24th as four younger ones did not finish the race.

    "I had prepared for warmer conditions. I spent time training in Colorado and New Mexico in 40 degree heat. It was very cold today, however, I felt I was in good shape," Longo said.

    Cooke did not have a good start. Italian Vera Carrera took the lead from the very beginning, followed by Australian defending champion Sara Carrigan and Judith Arndt of Germany.

    "It was a hard race because of the rain. I did not expected it (the rain)," Cooke said.

    Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany started attacking after 50 kilometers, but it was Natalia Boyarskaya of Russia, who just won the Tour Feminin en Limousin, that surprised all to take the lead in the last two laps.

    Beijing's August rain has posed a big challenge to all riders. Son Hee Jung of South Korea fell to the ground after crashing with other six riders. She stood up and finished the race.

    As the rain got heavier, more and more cyclists went down on the wet road as Alexandra Wrubleski of Canada and Meng Lang of China had to put their bike's chain back before taking off again.

    The mass start road cycling race started at Yongdingmen Gate, running through Tian Qiao, the Temple of Heaven, the Great Hall of the People, the Tian'anmen Square, the Changpu river park, the Imperial Palace Wall Relics Park, Shatan, the Lama Temple, the Temple of Land, the Yuan Dynasty City Wall Relics Palace, the Olympic Sports Center, the Bird's Nest (national stadium), the Beijing Olympic Tower, the Zhongguancun High-tech District, the Peking University, the Yuanmingyuan Park, and the Juyongguan and Badaling sections of the Great Wall.

    The design of the route has offered the world a comprehensive review of Beijing's beautiful landscape, though the athletes had no time to enjoy it.

    Sixty-six cyclists from 33 countries and regions competed in the 126km race.

Editor: Xinhuanet
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