Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

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carlislemike
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Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby carlislemike » 21 Aug 2013, 6:10am

Upto last summer Nicole Cooke was prominent in British cycling as a member of both Team GB and as an individual athlete in the Women's European circuit. Ok she retired and made her farewell memorable with one of the most cogent attacks on doping in the sport and its real impact on those who rode clean but were screwed by the cheating pros so either losing any chance of success or becoming disillusioned and quitting. However since then she has seemingly disappeared; no website, no news, nothing. Has cycling sport chosen to 'lose' her or is it self imposed purdah. IMHO she was worth a lot more in terms of comment and commentary than Queen Vic or Lizzie Amistead. Couldn't Itv4 or BBC Sport bring her into their commentary teams for next year's Women's Tour of Britain etc?

Whippet
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby Whippet » 21 Aug 2013, 7:51am

Yes, I was hoping she would end up with an ambassadorial role after her passionate attack on Armstrong.

eileithyia
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby eileithyia » 21 Aug 2013, 8:09am

Quick google does not bring up anything.... other than some tweets earlier this year, appears to be Switzerland based?
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby Big T » 21 Aug 2013, 2:34pm

I always had a lot of respect for Nicole. She was one of the more articulate riders but never seemed to achieve the high profile with the general public that her success deserved. She was never one to toe the line with the establishment and had a bit of a reputation for being "difficult" and wanting to do things her own way. I don't think her spat with Lizzie helped her image at all.

I'd like to see her used as a cycling commentator/pundit in a similar way to Rebecca Adlington has recently done with swimming.
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jezer
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby jezer » 21 Aug 2013, 3:24pm

I remember seeing Nicole race as a junior when I was a BCF Commissaire in the 90's. She always had class. I'm sorry she has retired so early :?
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michael42
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby michael42 » 21 Aug 2013, 5:49pm

Big T wrote:I always had a lot of respect for Nicole. She was one of the more articulate riders but never seemed to achieve the high profile with the general public that her success deserved. She was never one to toe the line with the establishment and had a bit of a reputation for being "difficult" and wanting to do things her own way. I don't think her spat with Lizzie helped her image at all.

I'd like to see her used as a cycling commentator/pundit in a similar way to Rebecca Adlington has recently done with swimming.


WInning gold in Beijing wasn't as high profile as winning silver in London.

Look at all the olympic success that Wiggins had, he wasn't really high profile until the TdF win coincided with the home Olympics.
Even commentators are saying that Froome would have garnered more profile in Britain had he done the Ride London (not
that I necessarily agree that's a good idea - it's not like he's not successful both in terms of winning and earning)

It seems now too that the push for more equality for women is gaining at least a little momentum,
albeit they seem a bit fractured about what is the best way forward (I tend to agree with Trott that they
really need to get Eurosport and ITV4 to start showing women's races and not just mens rather than adding more races)

Perhaps she retired a year or 2 too early in that respect?

Clearly the British ladies in the wiggle honda team and Team GB are household names now. e.g The adverts shown during the TdF nearly all
featured women cyclists. So clearly the sponsors and advertisers are aware that we know who they are. The reason we know is simply
because the olympic coverage of road and track events showed both men and women competing.

Indeed, as someone who didn't really watch cycling before, it wasn't really apparent that women's cycling isn't on TV until after the olympics and
you see them disappear, whereas Wiggins, Froome et al keep their profile.

steady eddy
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby steady eddy » 29 Aug 2013, 8:23am

I think you will find that she is finishing her PhD

Big T
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby Big T » 30 Aug 2013, 5:52pm

steady eddy wrote:I think you will find that she is finishing her PhD


I don't think Nicole is doing a PhD. Perhaps you are thinking of Emma Pooley?
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DavidT
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby DavidT » 1 Sep 2013, 4:13pm

I write this as a leisure cyclist who keeps an eye on the racing scene, rather than a racing fanatic! (Either on the road or in an armchair.)
It seemed to me that in the last few interviews I saw with Nicole Cooke that she sounded very disillusioned with the sport, particularly in the wake of the Armstrong exposure and the wider media debate around that. She came across as feeling very let down and annoyed that so many riders in the sport had been cheated. Whereas the likes of David Millar and others (understandably) tend to philosophise and look to the future regarding lessons learnt, Nicole (equally understandably) just seemed brassed off with the whole scenario?
Furthermore, unfortunately her success was not at a time that the media covered cycling and particularly women’s cycling to much extent – and certainly not at the comparatively “heady” levels we now have. I wonder if deep down that could also have been a frustration for her.
So I concluded she’d decided to just take a (big) back step from the sport in her retirement.
Respect to her though, and her successes, which I had kept an eye on at the time – as far as I was able. She should have had far more recognition than she received.

Norman H
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby Norman H » 23 Oct 2013, 7:45am

I Just listened to Nicole Cook on Radio 4 “Today” program. She was talking very eloquently and articulately on the subject of drugs in Sport. It’s a pity that James Naughtie the interviewer was totally out of his depth and seemed to have very little grasp of the subject.

thirdcrank
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Oct 2013, 3:26pm

Norman H wrote:... James Naughtie the interviewer was totally out of his depth ...

But he makes me sound laconic. :oops:

PatrickP
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby PatrickP » 24 Oct 2013, 6:08pm

Interview at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dslgz
at 7.20 - about 1h19mins into clip ( I think this will only be available for a week)

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Spinners
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby Spinners » 6 Dec 2014, 8:58pm

I'm about 80% through reading her autobiography 'The Breakaway'. It's easily the best book by a racing cyclist that I've ever read.
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hondated
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby hondated » 18 Dec 2014, 6:01pm

Just heard that Brad Wiggins and Vicky P are on some sort of programme on Radio 4 later and it made me remember this thread. Its so sad that Nicole seems to be being ignored as she was one of our great cyclists for so many years.

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TrevA
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Re: Whatever happened to Nicole Cooke

Postby TrevA » 21 Apr 2015, 7:17pm

I've just finished reading Nicole's autobiography - The Breakaway. It seems she suffered from constant knee problems throughout her career and I think this may have been a factor in her early retirement. Definitely worth a read.
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