Name: Nicole Cooke
From: Glamorgan, Wales
Disciplines: Women?s Road Race
Career synopsis: Cooke took up cycling at an early age and became the youngest ever woman to win the national road race the age of 16. Cooke went on to win La Flèche Wallonne and the World Cup before becoming a professional with the Ausra-Gruodis Safi squad. As an eight-time British road race champion, Cooke?s success is prolific; combined with climbing talent and a rapid turn of speed, Nicole is ideally suited to the Beijing course.
Titles held: 2002 Road Commonwealth Champion; 2003 UCI Women?s World Cup; 2006 UCI Women?s World Cup; 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 British Road Race Champion; 2001 British XC MTB Champion; 2001 British Cyclo-Cross Champion.
Two things you didn?t know about… Nicole’s first book, Cycle For Life is due to come out later this year. She is also a music fan as well as enjoying a game of tennis when not on the bike.
MINI INTERVIEW: NICOLE COOKE
Have you been to China before?
Yes, I went in December to look at the road and time trial course
Are your family going out to watch?
What essentials will you be taking with you?
Computer, music, a telephone, and a web cam.
Have you got any tips on how to cope with the jet lag?
Make sure you know your plan for adapting before you fly. And whether you feel like sleeping or not, close your eyes, put your eye mask on and be quiet.
What are your previous experiences of the athletes village?
From one side you?re with GB cycling team and it?s the same people, the same riders, just like at any other championship or race, so in terms of the small details it?s just like any other place. But the moment you go out the door you realise it?s so huge. You go through the different country?s zones and you see the differences and the diversity, and you see how wide spreading the Olympics is. Then there?s the food hall and all different living areas, you can get lost out there!
How do you cope with all the hanging around and waiting?
It?s just like at any other race really. If there?s any mental preparation to do, I go through the course and my race strategies and make sure I?m happy with That, otherwise just relax and listen to music and wait for the racing.
Will you be taking a break after the games?
Not immediately after because of the world championships in Varese which is my second big target of the year. I?m looking to have a really strong August and September, after that I?ll have my break.
Which other event would you most like to go and watch ?
I was really luck y in Athens to go and see some of my favourite sports, I saw the gymnastics , saw the tennis, saw the athletics. They were the big Olympics sports that I really wanted to go and see. And I took in some other sports like basket ball, track racing. Having seen my favourites sports already I don?t have a must see sport. I think once my racing is over I?ll just take the opportunities that are there.
Which other Olympian past or present would you most like to meet?
I?ve been really lucky through the Visa sponsorship that I had in the past, and got to spend quite a lot of time with Steve Redgrave and other past Olympians, and I got some really good insights. But I?d rather just take the opportunities that come rather than go out and say I want to meet this person or that person.
What do you think of the political situation surrounding China hosting the Olympics?
I don?t think about it. It?s not something that I?m involved in directly and I think the Olympics is special and I?m going to go there and do the best I can for my cycling career and Great Britain. It?s not something I can directly influence so it?s not something I should get involved in.