Olympic champion Cooke signs with German squad

Great Britain's Nicole Cooke took the Olympic title in Beijing

Great Britain's Nicole Cooke took the Olympic title in Beijing (Image credit: AFP)

Reigning Olympic road champion Nicole Cooke signed with Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung team for one year, the team announced Friday. Cooke is looking forward to leading the German squad, which she called "the strongest international team". The German squad will be called Skyter-Shipping in 2010.

The 26-year-old had a brilliant 2008 season, in which she won both the Olympic title and road World Championships, but her 2009 season saw only a few wins: the British Championships, a stage and the overall of the Giro del Trentino and two stages of the Lurreta-Emakumeen Bira. It was a far cry from the usual results of the two-time World Cup overall winner, who has been one of the most successful women cyclists of all time.

The Briton's season was stymied by a virus in July, she said. "I had to take a long break in July due to a virus, and after that I was not at my usual form." She dropped out of the World Championship road race.

She is looking forward to a rejuvenation with the team in 2010, and a chance to regain her rainbow stripes. "I want my World Championship title back again in Australia!"

The Commonwealth Championships in India and the World Cup are also on the Briton's radar.

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