Nicole Cooke won Great Britain’s first gold medal in Beijing, adding the Olympic road race title to her world crown that she had claimed that year.
On top of that she has also won two bronze medals and a silver at world level while she claimed Commonwealth Games gold in 2002.
In 2003 she became the youngest cyclist to become the UCI Women’s World Cup champion, and the first Brit, after an impressive race victory in La Flèche Wallonne.
In 2004 she won her first Grand Tour – the Giro d’Italia – becoming the first Brit to do so while in 2005 she won her second La Flèche Wallonne.
In 2006, Cooke reached the top of the world rankings with a third La Flèche Wallonne victory as well as a first win in La Grande Boucle – the women’s Tour de France – and she successfully defended it a year later.
At the end of the 2007 season she suffered a knee injury which almost caused her to quit cycling but she recovered to win the world and Olympic title in 2008.
Cooke was awarded an MBE in 2009 and she won her tenth national title the same year.