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