Nicole Cooke /

Nicole Cooke

Date of Birth

13 April 1983

Sport

Cycling

From

Vale of Glamorgan

Twitter

@NicoleCooke2012

Biography

Cooke is one of Wales' greatest sporting talents. She has a whole host of achievements to her name - including gold at the Beijing Olympic Games.

At 16 she won her first senior national title, becoming the youngest rider to take the senior women's title at the British National Road Race Championships.

Asked how it all started, she says, "While growing up we did a lot of cycling as a family, even our holidays were on tandems!"

She turned professional in 2002, racing for the Spanish-Italian Deia-Pragma-Colnago team, basing herself in Treviso where she learned to speak Italian.

She's had an incredible career amassing World Cup, World Champion and Commonwealth Games titles and medals.

But it hasn't all been plain sailing. She underwent keyhole surgery in 2004 to cure an ongoing knee problem. She broke her collar bone in 2005.

2008 was a successful year. She joined Team Halfords BikeHut and went on to win her ninth national road race champion title. She stormed to a dramatic victory in the road race at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She became the first woman to become the road race World Champion and Olympic gold medallist in the same year.

She travelled to Delhi in 2010 to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games. She finished fifth.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Cooke couldn't reclaim her gold medal in the women's road race but she emerged as a true team player after working hard with Team GB teammates to get eventual silver medallist Lizzie Armistead in the best possible position to get GB onto the podium.