World and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke has today been awarded The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year at a ceremony taking place at the Lords Cricket Pavillion.

Now in their 21st year, the awards are the among the most prestigious and influential in the British sporting calendar.

The other nominees for Sportswoman of the Year were Victoria Pendleton and Hayley Turner (horseracing).

Olympic pursuit champion Rebecca Romero shortlisted for the ‘Olympian of the Year’ prize, while Women’s Downhill World Champion, Rachel Atherton was nominated for the Young Sportswoman prize.

Nominations for the prestigious awards were submitted online by Sunday Times readers with the eventual winners decided by a panel chaired by BBC 5 Live sports broadcaster, Eleanor Oldroyd.

Also on the panel were some leading industry figures including Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Cassie Smith (Head of Insight and Innovation of Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation) and Jill Douglas (sports broadcaster).

A delighted Nicole said, “What a great honour! I did not expect this at all and am very grateful to everyone at The Sunday Times who supported me and voted for me. I remember doing an interview for the Sportswoman of the year back in 2001 and it’s great to know that everyone here today has genuinely been following

my career right from the start.”

Nicole can add this award to the Transworld Sport Female Athlete of the Year which she won earlier this year.