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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Cooke needs some free wheels
Nicole Cooke
Nicole Cooke faces her first senior world championships
Nicole Cooke's preparations for the World Road Cycling Championships in Zolder, Belgium, have been hit by her team's financial problems.

Team Deia-Pragma-Colnago have not paid a number of riders including Cooke, and matters came to a head last weekend when they seized her bike from the British team vehicle.

It is the Welsh rider's first crack at the senior title after winning four junior world championships.


That business of seizing the bike was truly the bottom of the barrel
Nicole Cooke

The Commonwealth gold medallist had to borrow a cycle for the Ronde Van Westerbeek in Holland last weekend, but the on-loan wheels were put to good effect.

She won a seven-up sprint to take the warm-up event for the world championships.

"I was particularly pleased to get the result after all the nonsense with the team," said Cooke.

"After the season we have had for them and all the press coverage they have gained, they are acting in a very poor manner and I have had more wins than anyone else in the team.

"That business of seizing the bike off the roof of the GB wagon just as it was about to leave was truly the bottom of the barrel."

Cooke has been assured that she will be paid after the world championships.

For the moment, though, she is just trying to ensure that she has a bike to ride.

See also:

08 Oct 02 | Cycling
20 Sep 02 | Cycling
07 Oct 02 | Cycling
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