Meet Nicole Cooke, a British road bicycle racer who made history by becoming the first person ever to win the World Title in the same year as she won the Olympics Road Race gold medal. See photos, video and a biography of Nicole Cooke here.
Nicole beat hot favourite Marianne Vos of Holland in the last 50 meters of the 85 miles race in Italy, producing as superb a finish as she produced in Beijing just six weeks ago.
‘It was a dream come true in Beijing, it was fantastic how it all happened there, but I haven’t yet really come to terms with this one because there was so much happening in the finale,’ she said. ‘It will take some time to come to terms with this one.’
As a biography, Nicole Cooke was born on 13 April 1983 in Swansea, Wales so her age is 25. She started cycling at the age of 11 and won her first senior title, the British National Road Race Championships, when she was just 16. All in all, she won four world junior titles.
Nicole won the women’s road race during the 2002 Commonwealth Games and repeated the feat in La Flèche Wallonne Féminine in Belgium, a year later. She was also the first Briton and the youngest to win the 2003 UCI Women’s Road World Cup. That was the same year when she had a nasty crash in October but was nonetheless awarded the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
Cooke took part in the 2004 Olympics but finished a dismal fifth in the women’s road race. Her later achievements include winning the silver in the World Championships and a bronze in the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She also won the 2006 Grande Boucle, widely regarded as the women’s Tour de France.
Her gold medal in the 2008 Olympics was the 200th gold medal for Great Britain in the modern history.
Check out her official website for information and exclusive photos.
More photos and a video of Nicole Cooke are below.