An interview with Nicole Cooke

With five victories already this season - including both rounds of the World Cup - and having been...

With five victories already this season - including both rounds of the World Cup - and having been at the top level of women's racing for a number of years now, it's difficult to believe that the young woman from South Wales is still in her early twenties. Cyclingnews UK Editor Ben Atkins caught up with British Champion Nicole Cooke to reflect on a phenomenal season so far.

She does, in fact, turn 24 today (April 13), but won't be celebrating in the same way as most 24 year olds tonight. Instead she'll be travelling from her home in Lugano, Switzerland to the Netherlands to see if she can further extend her World Cup lead in tomorrow's Ronde van Drenthe.

A highly amused "couldn't have started better!" is the slightly understated response to my initial question about how her season is going (we'd meant to catch up before she won the Tour of Flanders, but this was just after), but it couldn't be more true. With a 100 percent record in World Cup races, plus overall victory in the Geelong Tour and one-day wins at the Grand Prix Costa Etrusca and Trofeo Alfedo Binda, it's been an almost perfect start to 2007 for the Welsh sensation.

Sunday's victory at the Tour of Flanders clearly ranks as a high point in an already highly prestigious palmarès that features three wins at Flèche Wallonne, an Amstel Gold, and stage races like the Giro d'Italia - as well as an incredible seven British national championships. "Definitely one of the Classics." she says, reflecting on her favourite victory.

Click here to read the full interview with Nicole Cooke.

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