Reigning Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke has stepped up her case for being Team GB’s lead rider at this summer’s Olympic Games following a final stage win at the Energiewacht Tour in the Netherlands.
This was the 28 year old Welsh cyclist’s first major win of the season, as she crossed the line to claim victory in the 89-mile stage riding for the Faren-Honda Racing Team.
She faces a battle with fellow Brit Lizzie Armitstead to be selected as the lead rider in this summer’s Olympic road race event. Selection is due to be confirmed in June.
Armitstead failed to finish in the Energiewacht Tour but did win two races in Belgium earlier this year.
Cooke said, “It is a fantastic feeling to get my 2012 season going properly. I should be increasing form and building for London.
“It shows I’ve still got it. I’m very pleased as it’s always great to have that reference point against the best riders in the world.
“I think it is a really good signal to myself and my rivals that, when it comes to the sharp end of racing and tactics, I’m up there – and I’m as good as ever at executing a win.
“There is still a lot of work to do and much to focus on,” said Cooke. “The coming weeks and months will make the big difference on that big day in London in July.”
Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine