Flashback: Olympic champion Nicole Cooke retires from cycling on this day in 2013

On this day in 2013, former Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke retired from cycling with immediate effect.

VALKENBURG, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 20:  Nicole Cooke of Great Britain in action during training for the UCI Road World Championships on September 20, 2012 in Valkenburg, Netherlands.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images).
VALKENBURG, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 20: Nicole Cooke of Great Britain in action during training for the UCI Road World Championships on September 20, 2012 in Valkenburg, Netherlands. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images).

Born in Swansea, she was a trailblazer for cycling – particularly women’s cycling – in Britain and in 2008 became the first rider, male or female, to win Olympic and world road-race gold in the same year.

Announcing her decision to call time on her 13-year career in a lengthy statement, the 10-time British champion said: “My time in the sport is finished. I am very happy with my career.

“I have many, many happy memories over what has been my life’s work since I was 12. I have won every race and more that I dreamed I could win.”

The then 29-year-old then also took aim at drug cheats within the sport, writing: “I cannot change the era or time that I am born into. I am very proud that I have met the temptation head on and have not wavered in my honesty or sold my ideals.

“I have always ridden true to myself and placed my morals beyond a need to win. I have ridden clean throughout my career.”

Cooke won Britain’s first gold of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in heavy rain by the Great Wall of China, the first of eight gold medals for Britain’s cyclists.

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