Britain's Nicole Cooke wins fifth stage of Giro Donne

Nicole Cooke with her Beijing Olympic gold medal

Cooke won Olympic gold and the world road race title in 2008

Britain's Olympic champion Nicole Cooke has ended a year-long wait for a victory after easing to success in the fifth stage of the Giro Donne in Italy.

Cooke, 28, had not tasted success since winning a stage of the Emakumeen Bira in Spain's Basque region last June.

But she finished well clear of the field to triumph in the 129km stage from Altedo to Verona.

Overall race leader Marianne Vos was second in the stage after winning a bunch sprint from Ina Teutenberg.

Several riders were involved in a big crash as they headed for the finish, but MCipollini-Giambenini rider Cooke - who won this event in 2004 - avoided all the drama to secure the stage win.