Cycling star of the future, wins big right now in the present

Eighteen year old Nicole Cooke continued her single-handed demolition of the world's best junior women riders this morning, when she successfully defended her Road Race title at the world championships in Portugal. This all-rounder (she also an MTB champ) is clearly going places. Here's the latest news on Cooke from British Cycling (nee BCF)
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The 18 year old from Cowbridge in South Glamorgan was always in control of a

race where she was able to use her aggression and climbing ability to

the full. Cooke dominated a small break which went clear at half

distance. She whittled them down to four and then went away alone to win

by 17 seconds. The scale of Cooke's achievements over the last 12 months

is hard to grasp.

She has always been an extremely competitive individual, who won

numerous age-related national titles in a range of disciplines. However,

Nicole first made the establishment sit up when, in 1999, at the age of

sixteen she defeated the cream of Britain's female talent to become the

youngest ever winner of the national senior women's road race title.

Since then she has continually shown an ability to perform under

pressure at major events. A bronze medal at the 2000 world mountain bike

championships was rapidly followed by gold in the Junior Road Race at

last year's worlds in Plouay, France. A second Senior national title on

the road earlier this year saw her once again getting the better of a

field including several proven world-class riders.

Early September found Nicole out in Vail, Colorado, where she turned the

previous year's bronze into gold at the world mountain bike

championships. Two world championships in a year! Not bad going,

especially considering that nobody had previously held the road and

mountain bike world titles at the same time. And so to Portugal, where

Nicole has doubled her tally of world championships in four days. By any

criteria you care to mention, her performances over the last 12 months

have been astonishing.

2001 World Road Race Championships, Lisbon, Portugal.

Junior Women's Road Race

1 Nicole Cooke (GBr) 2.01.25 (35.93 km/h)

2 Pleuni Möhlmann (Ned) 0.17

3 Maja Wloszczowska (Pol) 0.29

4 Natalia Boiarskaia (Rus) 1.18

5 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) 1.46

JUST FOR FUN

Enjoy the current medal table at the world Road Championships - perhaps

a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy GB at the top, with over half

the titles decided!

1 GB; 2 gold, 1 silver

2 Ger; 1 Gold, 1 Silver

3= USA, Bel, Fra: 1 Gold each

6 Ned: 1 silver, 1 Bronze

7= Rus, Ukr, Swi: 1 Silver each

10= Ltu, RSA, Sp, Col: 1 Bronze each

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