Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke has abandoned the World Championships women’s road race with four laps to go.

The defending World Champion, Cooke never looked comfortable in the first half of the race and was apparently in trouble as soon as the first lap, although British Cycling sources said she did not actually crash.

She quit with four laps to go of the 124.2 kilometre race. Cooke had expressed uncertainty about her condition before the World Championships and eventually opted to go.

Britain’s Emma Pooley, Lizzie Armitstead and Sharon Laws all remain in the front group.

More later…