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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 July 2006, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Cooke claims Grande Boucle title
Nicole Cooke celebrates her Grande Boucle Feminine success
Nicole Cooke celebrates her Grande Boucle Feminine success
Welsh cyclist Nicole Cooke claimed victory in the Grande Boucle Feminine tour in France on Saturday.

Cooke entered the final 114.4km stage from L'Isle sur la Sorgue to Les Baux de Provence with a huge 6m 27sec lead.

A fifth-place finish in that fifth stage was more than enough for Cooke, 23, to wrap up the overall title.

The Univega Raleigh Lifeforce rider led from the start after winning the time trial prologue and then crushing her opposition in Friday's mountain stage.

Cooke won the 115km stretch from Valreas to L'Isle sur la Sorgue, featuring the tough Mont Ventoux climb, breaking away after 5km of the 22km climb to finish the stage four minutes and six seconds clear.

She had won Tuesday's time trial, was sixth and second in Wednesday's two stages and fifth on Thursday.

Cooke has been ably supported by a strong Univega Raleigh Lifeforce team, with Sarah Grab, Joanne Kiesanowski and Emma Rickards taking it in turns to lead attacks.



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