NICOLE Cooke (Raleigh-Lifeforce Creation) won her seventh consecutive National Road Race Championship at Saffron Waldren in Essex on Sunday after powering away from her rivals in the closing miles.

A break of eight riders got clear of the bunch with around 40 miles left and, after Joanna Rowsell had punctured and fell back to the bunch, the seven remaining riders forged on.

Three Global Racing Team riders ensured the pace was kept high in the break, but they were powerless to stop Cooke striding away with six miles remaining.

She opened up a gap of 59 seconds between then and the line, with Rachel Heal (Webcor Builders) taking the sprint for second from Helen Wyman (Global RT).

See this week?s Cycling Weekly for a full report from the Women?s Road Race Championship.

Women?s Road Race Championship (Saffron Walden, Essex).-

1 Nicole Cooke (Raleigh-Lifeforce Creation) 109km in 3-44-39
2 Rachel Heal (Webcor Builders) at 59sec
3 Helen Wyman (Global RT)
4 Catherine Hare (Rapha Condor RT)
5 Nikki Harris (Global RT)
6 Emma Pooley (Team Specialized) all same time