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Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 16:11 UK

Cooke bids for 10th British title

Nicole Cooke
Nicole Cooke is seventh in UCI world road race cycling rankings

Nicole Cooke will aim to win her ninth successive National Road Race title in South Wales on 27 June.

The Olympic road race champion is bidding for her tenth British crown with her own Vision 1 Racing team.

The two-times World Cup champion said: "It's a special jersey and there is a lot of prestige which goes with being the British champion.

"To win it again this year will be just as special as winning it the first time."

Cooke last won on home soil in 2004 when she won the national title when it was staged at the Celtic Manor Resort in 2004 when she beat Rachel Heal to the crown.

The only National title Cooke has not won during her decade of dominance since 1999 is the 2000 race when Scotland's Ceris Gilfillan clinched first place.

Cooke was a 16-year-old rookie when she won her first national title to become the youngest winner of the senior championships.

Cooke, who won two stages of the Emakumeen Bira in Spain this month and was fourth on the general classification, added: "I'm training for this like it is the first time.


"It's a new race, new rivals and a different course so I'll do my best."

Now Londoner Emma Pooley, who won silver in the Beijing Olympic Games Time Trial, has taken up Heal's baton and promised to give Cooke a battle in Abergavenny.

Her Vision 1 Racing team will include double British Cyclo-Cross Champion Helen Wyman and 2007 Welsh National Road champion Katie Curtis to help Cooke to national glory.

"I think there was a stage race in France last month where there were 13 riders who were in the international pelaton from Britain," said Cooke.

"It goes to show the Britain can compete at this level.

"It's been building up nicely this year with the team and with my own racing. I'm fine and training is going well.

"With the team, we had a good showing in the stage race in Spain recently with second overall and three of the riders in the top ten."

The Great Britain-Sky team - which includes British Olympic Development Programme riders Alex Greenfield and Katie Colclough - will also challenge Cooke's team as will World Track Championships Team Pursuit gold medalist Lizzie Armitstead.

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see also
Cooke upbeat after two stage wins
16 Jun 09 |  Cycling
Cooke steps up in Tour de l'Aude
15 May 09 |  Cycling
Olympic stars in national field
12 May 09 |  Cycling
Cooke fourth in Tour of Flanders
05 Apr 09 |  Cycling
Cooke starts her own team
26 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Golden stars head Welsh honours
31 Dec 08 |  Wales
Cooke storms to Olympic gold
05 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality

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