Gold medal cyclist rode her bike to school

Nicole Cook of the UK won the Gold Medal this morning in the women’s road race during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Photo copied from Pez Cycling News, which has lots of photos of the women cycling through the rain during their road race.

Nicole used to ride her bike to school. This stuff pays off, ladies and gentlemen:

Britain’s Olympic cycling champion Nicole Cooke began honing her fitness from the age of 11 when she would race her father twice daily on the seven-mile trip to and from school.

The young Miss Cooke and her father shunned the bus to dash from their home to school, where Tony Cooke taught physics.

The unusual training quickly paid off and Miss Cooke, now 25, publicly announced her life’s ambition, and her talent, after winning the Welsh cyclo-cross championship in 1994.

She beat everyone in her age group – including the boys – then promptly announced in a live television interview: “I want to win a gold medal at the Olympics.”

Read more in the Telegraph: Beijing Olympics: Champion Nicole Cooke’s childhood training secrets.

Three Americans raced this morning in Beijing: Kristin Armstrong, who placed 25th 43 seconds behind Cooke after crashing early in the race; 33rd place Amber Neben (who lost her chain of all things!); and Christine Thorburn. Thorburn was asked to reel in Russian Natalia Boyarskaya, but the effort spent her. “Christine did what we asked her to do,” U.S. coach Jim Miller said of Thorburn’s effort to reel in Boyarskaya. “She did a great job.”

Elsewhere:

Next up: Women’s road cycling — individual time trial. Tuesday night, August 12 at 8:30 PM.

10 Comments

  • bikesgonewild
    August 10, 2008 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

    …i didn't know that about nicole cook & doesn't that particular bit of info make you smile for the deserving woman…

  • bikesgonewild
    August 11, 2008 - 2:57 am | Permalink

    …i didn't know that about nicole cook & doesn't that particular bit of info make you smile for the deserving woman…

  • James T.
    August 11, 2008 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    She definitely deserved the win and what a great win it was. After falling off the small lead group near the finish for a short time, she charged back up and kept right on going. Even with Guderzo right on her wheel near the line, Cooke looked unstoppable. It was a great race and I think she is a great role model for young female cyclists. My 8 year old daughter watched it with me and was really excited after the race (which of course made me happy)

    Oh yeah, and the commuting bit makes it even cooler. Congrats to Nicole.

  • James T.
    August 11, 2008 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    She definitely deserved the win and what a great win it was. After falling off the small lead group near the finish for a short time, she charged back up and kept right on going. Even with Guderzo right on her wheel near the line, Cooke looked unstoppable. It was a great race and I think she is a great role model for young female cyclists. My 8 year old daughter watched it with me and was really excited after the race (which of course made me happy)Oh yeah, and the commuting bit makes it even cooler. Congrats to Nicole.

  • m e l i g r o s a
    August 11, 2008 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    that last stretch was pretty bad ass.
    I agree she earned that well.

    I thought Gaderzo had it and she choked, man it was pouring and they made it seem so easy.
    awesome last 150mts, was divine & truly inspirational ;)

  • m e l i g r o s a
    August 11, 2008 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

    that last stretch was pretty bad ass. I agree she earned that well.I thought Gaderzo had it and she choked, man it was pouring and they made it seem so easy.awesome last 150mts, was divine & truly inspirational ;)

  • Yokota Fritz
    August 11, 2008 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I feel badly about it because I wanted to catch this race, but I fell asleep at 9:30 Saturday night and missed the whole thing! I had a lot going on Sunday anyway. It sounded like a good race.

    I plan to catch the time trial Tuesday night.

  • Yokota Fritz
    August 11, 2008 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I feel badly about it because I wanted to catch this race, but I fell asleep at 9:30 Saturday night and missed the whole thing! I had a lot going on Sunday anyway. It sounded like a good race.I plan to catch the time trial Tuesday night.

  • Pete LaVerghetta
    August 11, 2008 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

    And yes, the Great Britian jersey crushes the USA jersey like a grape.

  • Pete LaVerghetta
    August 11, 2008 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

    And yes, the Great Britian jersey crushes the USA jersey like a grape.

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