Nominated for Sport award
Nicole Cooke from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan has put women’s cycling on the map in the UK. She was a tireless campaigner throughout her career for moral conduct in sport.
Nicole has a palmarès virtually unmatched in British Cycling. In 2001, she left Brynteg School to become the only British female cyclist of a continental team. Her decision was vindicated when later that year she won the Commonwealth Games Road Race. In 2003 she became the youngest ever winner, male or female, of the World Cup, and Britain’s first ever winner. In 2004 she was the first British rider ever to win a Grand Tour, triumphing in the Giro d’Italia with a double of completing it in the quickest average speed and becoming the youngest ever winner. Later she won the women’s Tour de France twice, as well as classics such as the Tour of Flanders, Fèlche Wallonne, Amstel Gold and many more.
Despite serious crashes and injuries, Nicole crowned her career with a unique double in 2008, becoming the first person ever to be both World and Olympic Road Race Champion. She retired in 2012 and has completed an MBA at Cardiff University, during the course of which she wrote and released her autobiography.