Cooke delighted with strong season start

British rider Nicole Cooke is delighted with her season to date, after taking her fourth victory of...

British rider Nicole Cooke is delighted with her season to date, after taking her fourth victory of the year at last weekend's Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy. The 23 year-old rider started the season on a high note in Australia where she took victory in both the Geelong Tour and World Cup Race before going on to claim the top spot at the Trofeo Costa Etrusca.

"I could hardly have hoped for a better start to the season, with one tour and three one day victories by the 1st of April," said Cooke following her win on the weekend. "But as you know road racing is very complex and tactical. It's nearly impossible to win as a lone rider against other teams, so my wins are victories for the Raleigh-Lifeforce team."

"This was an outstanding performance from the whole team and I'm just delighted that I can reward their efforts with the win," she added.

Cooke rode home alone at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, some 42 seconds ahead of nearest rival Giorgia Bronzini of Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan.

In addition to her own performance, Cooke said she was pleased with the overall effort her squad as put in to date, particularly the efforts of two fellow British riders who are following in the reigning World Cup champion's footsteps.

"We have some new riders this year including two Brits Tanja Slater and Anneliese Hurd who are learning about road racing," noted Cooke. "They have settled in very well and I am very impressed with both of them. They are applying themselves as proper professionals and living the life correctly."

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