British riders clinched the top two positions in the Fleche Wallone World Cup race in Belgium yesterday, with Emma Pooley enjoying a solo victory ahead of current Olympic road-race champion Nicole Cooke, of Wales.
Pooley blasted away 300 metres from the summit of the agonisingly steep Mur de Huy to claim the fourth World Cup win of her career, while Cooke made a late charge to claw her way past the remainder of the peloton for second.
"We had such a strong squad that we could soften things up with attacks of our own, pull back the dangerous breaks by rivals and then set things up for me to make the final move," Pooley, a silver medallist in the Beijing Olympic Games time-trial, said afterwards. "We kept the pressure up and all I had to do was be patient – which is hard for me. But I kept close to Evelyn Stevens until halfway up the climb and I could hear her breathing was louder than mine, so I knew she was suffering."