Nicole Cooke added the 2008 World Championship medal to her long list of achievements at the weekend
2008 has been an absolutely astounding year for Nicole Cooke, and not one she’ll forget in a hurry. With the Olympic gold medal she won in Beijing safe in the drawer, it was Varese, Italy that provided the background for an heroic victory in the 2008 World Championships.
Stepping up onto the top spot of the podium was a dream come true for the Welsh rider. With two bronze and one silver medal already pocketed in previous senior World Champs, winning gold was the cream on top of a fantastic year.
With local knowledge of the roads, on which she trains regularly, to her advantage, Cooke was well prepared. And prepared she had to be, with lots of attacking riding from the competition and a well-organised Italian team seeking to place a rider in the rainbow jersey on home soil. Cooke’s strength under pressure assured her of the win, which came as she overtook Marianna Vos of the Netherlands metres from the line after a hard-fought finale.
Cooke said afterwards: “I have always wanted the winner’s rainbow jersey. At the finale I tried my best, it was instinct. It was a really hard race.”
Other Brits in the results include Sharon Laws in 28th, Emma Pooley 35th, Elizabeth Armistead 41st and Jessica Allen in 61st.