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Cooke up for making the right impression

July 25, 2012 07:55 am

Defending champion Nicole Cooke hopes she can play a role in helping the success of Great Britain's cyclists continue into the first weekend of the Olympics.

The 29-year-old from Swansea won gold by the Great Wall of China in Beijing four years ago and the World Championships later that year, but has been in indifferent form of late.

And, while Lizzie Armitstead may yet be preferred as leader in the four-rider team, Cooke aims to play her part as the women's squad seek to build on Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France success, 24 hours after world champion Mark Cavendish goes for gold on the opening day of London 2012.

Cooke said: "I haven't had my best form, but I think things are coming round well now for race day.

"We know we're one of the strong nations in cycling now.

"This is another fantastic opportunity for us all to show what we're capable of."

Women's road coach Chris Newton said a leadership decision would be made on the road, depending how the race unfolds.

Newton admitted Cooke's selection required "careful consideration" after a slow start to the season, but he expects her to perform in Sunday's 140-kilometre race, which finishes on The Mall.

He said: "In past big occasions, Nicole does raise her game and she's such a competitor. She can really cause some damage in that race.

"The other nations either respond to that or they don't. If they do respond to it, Lizzie's sitting pretty. If they don't Nicole's like 'here we go'. On Sunday we'll see Nicole's in the right place."

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