Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Racing => Topic started by: Rhys W on January 14, 2013, 06:07:18 pm

Title: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Rhys W on January 14, 2013, 06:07:18 pm
Nicole Cooke retires from racing, takes swipe at drugs cheats (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/14/nicole-cooke-drugs-retires).

Could have seen this coming sadly, she hasn't been at her best for a few years, not helped by the decline of women's racing and some unlucky team issues.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: robgul on January 14, 2013, 07:09:39 pm
... perhaps she could become Director Sportif for the new CTC Gurlz Racing Team  :demon:

Rob
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Jakob on January 14, 2013, 07:15:55 pm
Quote
"When Lance cries on Oprah later this week and she passes him a tissue, spare a thought for all of those genuine people who walked away with no reward – just shattered dreams. Each one of them is worth a 1,000 Lances," said Cooke. "I do despair that the sport will ever clean itself up when rewards of stealing are greater than riding clean. If that remains the case, the temptation for those with no morals will always be too great."

Nicely done.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 14, 2013, 07:20:20 pm
Does she have any comments regarding the women racers who doped?
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: rogerzilla on January 14, 2013, 07:26:33 pm
She was somewhat eclipsed by the later products of the Manchester machine, especially the trackies and especially Pendleton.  Respect though, for rather dicking up the Athens road race (I remember when she, along with various others, failed to make it round a corner) and then coming back to win in Beijing.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Nuncio on January 14, 2013, 07:55:05 pm
Does she have any comments regarding the women racers who doped?

Sort of.

Quote

I do despair that the sport will ever clean itself up when rewards of stealing are greater than riding clean. If that remains the case, the temptation for those with no morals will always be too great.

I have been robbed by drugs cheats, but am fortunate, I am here with more in my basket than the 12 year old dreamed of.

I have had days where temptation to start onto the slippery slope was brought in front of me. In my Tour de France when I was 19 as the race went on my strength left me.
I was invited into a team camper and asked what "medicines" I would like to take to help me and was reminded that the team had certain expectations of me during the race and I was not living up to them with my performance over the last couple of stages. I said I would do my best until I had to drop out of the race, but I was not taking anything.

Good luck to her.  I'm sure she'll do well at whatever she turns to.  She's a single-minded woman, if not always a team player.


Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: spesh on January 14, 2013, 07:56:35 pm
She was somewhat eclipsed by the later products of the Manchester machine, especially the trackies and especially Pendleton.  Respect though, for rather dicking up the Athens road race (I remember when she, along with various others, failed to make it round a corner) and then coming back to win in Beijing.

If you look at the senior womens' results for the National Champs from 1959 onwards, the Manchester machine only knocked her off the top spot in 2010, and last year was the first time Cooke missed the podium since 2000. Only Beryl Burton has won more national road race titles, beating her 12-10. The next most-successful woman in terms of National titles is Marie Purvis, with 5.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Road_Race_Championships#Senior_.281959.E2.80.932012.29
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: spesh on January 14, 2013, 08:02:21 pm
Her full statement can be found on the Velonation site:

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/13700/Nicole-Cooke-announces-retirement-from-professional-cycling.aspx

Basically, it's something of a Yuck Foo! to the BCF, who tried to hinder her as a junior, all the cheats who stole results and earnings from those who chose not to take pharmaceutical "assistance", and the UCI, for not giving a toss about women's racing.
Title: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: icenutter on January 14, 2013, 08:59:52 pm
She sounds pretty bitter. With good reason I think.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: De Sisti on January 14, 2013, 10:04:55 pm
Shame that she's getting some stick on the BBC website. I always like her and wish her the
best in her retirement. Mind you, if she did make a comeback for the next Olympics she'd only
be 33. Young enough to give them young uns a run for their money.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: David Martin on January 14, 2013, 11:42:22 pm
Maybe there is a managers job at team CTC?
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: MalRees on January 15, 2013, 12:04:45 am
Nicole is far and away the best female road racer we have seen in the UK since Beryl Burton, and up until 2011 I would have rated her as the best in the UK bar none.  That World / Olympic double is a feat that we must all respect. Our current belles de jour, from the Manchester machine, have in comparison done nothing. Its a shame she is stopping so early, but her form hasn't been there since 2009, so its probably a wise decision. I hope she is not lost to cycling for good. That experience should not be allowed to go to waste.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: TheLurker on January 15, 2013, 08:25:24 pm
It's also interesting to note that she is retiring at 29 when a top flight male rider might expect to keep riding into his mid 30s. So is earlier retirement than might otherwise be necessary yet another aspect of the discrepancy between male and female cycling?
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 15, 2013, 08:31:27 pm
In earlier times, male racers would retire in their early 30s, having peaked their late 20s. It is only in the last decade or so that riders tended to peak in their mid-30s.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: rogerzilla on January 15, 2013, 09:06:45 pm
Normally the peak age for a grand Tour rider is about 29.  After that, you don't have the aerobic power (unless you take lots of EPO) and before that, you don't have the strength or the ability to recover between stages (unless you take HGH and testosterone).

Obviously there are exceptions, like Merckx.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: sg37409 on January 16, 2013, 02:26:33 pm
Lizzie armistead really doesnt like her, does she ?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/21036935
Her comments show her as bitter and stupid.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: rafletcher on January 16, 2013, 02:32:52 pm
Yes, I just saw that too. Some foolish things in there... "I just find it upsetting because the sport that I love, cycling, is clean now. My sport now is not that sport anymore."

Hmmm.

"I think it's good for her to retire and move on to something new."

Ouch.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: spesh on January 16, 2013, 03:26:07 pm
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." ~ commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln

Armitstead's comments, whilst spectacularly ill-judged, are consistent with those from many of the younger UK cyclists when the USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong was published.

"Cycling had/has a doping problem? La la la, I'm not listening..."

To be charitable, they are probably in such a racing and training bubble that they don't get the broader perspective on the sport's historical problems, and the shadow they still cast, compared with those of us who have the time and inclination to read up on the subject. The wider ramifications of the Lance Armstrong affair show why we can't just draw a line under a given year and say "Huzzah! Cycling is squeaky-clean now." Every time a cyclist avers that cycling is clean and that Armstrong et al are not their problem, it just gives more ammo to the Cycling News Clinic f***heads and the Twitter Taliban, and reinforces the impression that they have their head where the sun doesn't shine.  ::-)

What's particularly sad about Armitstead putting her pedal extremity in her mouth is that both she and Cooke are on the same page when it comes to the UCI's neglect of women's cycle sport.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Giropaul on January 16, 2013, 07:19:46 pm
Having taken the time to read what Armitstead said I don't think that she is in any way out of order.

What I read he as saying is "why drag up things from 10 years ago to smear the sport that I'm part of today?" 

The British Cycling set-up, which Armitstead has come up through, gives me reason to think that the riders coming through are clean. We've just got a new women's team (Honda), another (CTC) one seems to be coming along and several British women have got contracts abroad. Organisers are starting to put on more races alongside men's races. Wiggins has put money and effort (Brad Wiggins Foundation) into women's racing.

To have someone who is retiring saying that the sport is corrupt etc will not help sponsorship or profile.

Armitstead does have reason to not like Cooke - she flicked her at the Worlds. Cooke even got a second chance - British men who rode against orders at the worlds were banned from riding for GB again. However, I found her interview reasoned, and she stayed away from any personal feelings.

Imagine if, say, Jens Voight, was to retire and do so with a volley of accusations about the sport. I can't imagine people would be happy.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Rhys W on January 16, 2013, 10:02:13 pm
Jens Voight probably hasn't had to take his employers to court four times because they didn't pay his salary...
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 16, 2013, 10:25:21 pm
Jens Voight probably hasn't had to take his employers to court four times because they didn't pay his salary...

Has that happened to cooke?
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Rhys W on January 16, 2013, 10:41:30 pm
Quote
In 11 years of professional riding I have had to take four teams to court to achieve settlement against a straightforward contract to get my wages owed to me. I have won every time, but this is incredibly abrasive and exhausting in so many ways.

The full text of her statement is well worth reading, it's out there in various places.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke interviewed re: Lance
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 18, 2013, 11:43:16 am
Caught this while waiting for the doc this morn.

She gives a good interview. Balanced, clear, no hesitations. And very anti-drugs. Talked about how this is a very low point for the sport but gives it a chance to build a new future. Also broached the subject of possible collusion by professional cycling's bodies to hide drug abuse.

Dunno if she's thought of it, but she would make a very good sports commentator.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: jane on January 18, 2013, 04:46:19 pm
Now she was a rider I really did admire.  First British rider to win a Grand Tour, which you would have thought would have merited a good deal more coverage from the sports media than it ever got.  And the Boucle twice.  Plus all the rest.  Checking any list of her achievements, one can't fail to be impressed.  So sad that she leaves the sport feeling let down by it. 
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Andrew on January 18, 2013, 04:53:05 pm
^^^^ yep, this

For a while there, Nicole Cooke was British women's cycling and I don't feel she got the recognition she deserved.  A gutsy, strong-willed rider and person. I hope there's a role for her in cycling, if she wants one, because her knowledge would be invaluable.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: mattc on January 19, 2013, 02:16:31 pm
@LWAB: yes, she's pretty forthright about the women dopers  :thumbsup:

She sounds pretty bitter. With good reason I think.
i think that depends on which section you focus on. This doesn't sound bitter:

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 am now 29 so that is 17 years of my life that I have enjoyed and now I am bringing to a close. I have won every race and more that I dreamed I could win. As a little girl of 12, after beating all the boys at the Welsh cyclo cross championships, I stood in front of the TV cameras and stated to the BBC reporter -- when asked the question -- what would you like do in cycling -- I answered "I want to win the Tour de France and win the Olympic Road Race"

At 12 I dreamed like every child. I hoped that some of my dreams could come true. You cannot imagine how happy I am to be here with you now, with my dreams fulfilled. I am very happy.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Martin 14 on January 19, 2013, 03:47:12 pm
Lizzie armistead really doesnt like her, does she ?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/21036935
Her comments show her as bitter and stupid.


Indeed, niave too......She added: "I just find it upsetting because the sport that I love, cycling, is clean now"
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: sg37409 on January 19, 2013, 05:36:16 pm
Imagine if, say, Jens Voight, was to retire and do so with a volley of accusations about the sport. I can't imagine people would be happy.

I'd say there's zero chance of that happening. The guy thinks Lance has been punished enough, move along here, nothing to see...
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: spesh on July 26, 2014, 11:30:41 pm
There were a few extracts from her upcoming autobiography (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Breakaway-Nicole-Cooke/dp/1471130339/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406412436&sr=1-1&keywords=nicole+cooke) in today's Times - it's fair to say that she doesn't have much time for Shane Sutton...
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 27, 2014, 08:28:09 am
Saw her on the tellybocks the other week, getting somewhat exercised - and rightly so - about being excluded from a feature about BRITONS who had worn the Maillot Jaune.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Andrew on July 27, 2014, 08:58:21 am
That's a book I shall read. I think we'll get an honest and forthright account rather than some PR exercise. I've been a fan of Nicole Cook's for years. She's been there and done it;  long before there was media spotlight, lottery funding or Team Sky etc. 
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 27, 2014, 09:09:38 am
For a while there, Nicole Cooke was British women's cycling and I don't feel she got the recognition she deserved.  A gutsy, strong-willed rider and person. I hope there's a role for her in cycling, if she wants one, because her knowledge would be invaluable.

(Exits muttering the phrase or saying "Mandy Jones")
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: sg37409 on July 27, 2014, 12:43:37 pm
That's a book I shall read. I think we'll get an honest and forthright account rather than some PR exercise. I've been a fan of Nicole Cook's for years. She's been there and done it;  long before there was media spotlight, lottery funding or Team Sky etc.

+1. One of my cycling heroes.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: hubner on July 27, 2014, 03:36:40 pm
Quote
Armitstead: "I just find it upsetting because the sport that I love, cycling, is clean now. My sport now is not that sport anymore."

If you saw that quote by itself, it seems to be saying she's upset because now the sport's clean and that the clean sport is not her sport anymore. Which is a pretty outrageous thing to say! And that's how I read it when quoted upthread.

But after reading the article, what she said is actually, I think:
I just find it ("it" being talking about old drug scandals) setting because the sport that I love, cycling, is clean now. My sport now (clean cycling) is not that sport (dope riddled cycling) anymore.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Andrew on August 20, 2014, 07:14:51 pm
I finished reading Nicole's autobiography last week. It is a very blunt read in places. It's fair to say that she wasn't given the assistance/support (by various British cycling bodies) she felt she needed. That comes through load and clear!

What was fascinating (for me) to read was her talk of race tactics. It's not something I've read before so it was illuminating.

I'm sure her headstrong nature makes her a trying individual at times, and I'm sure she put backs up, noses out of joint, etc BUT I have nothing but admiration for her. She didn't take 'no' for an answer and would find a way. What else could she do? Put her dreams on hold whilst comittees made a decision?

Two amusing related stories;

I bought the book in a local Waterstones. I checked the 'new releases' shelf and it wasn't there. A number of Chris Froome's were there, plus a few others. Above those were a couple of books on sexism. I looked at the sports biographies shelf, same thing. So I asked at the counter if they had it in. 'Who?' Came the reply, then a brief chat about the TdF and Wiggins, Cavendish, Froome. A search on the computer revealed they had one copy but it was in the stock room and they hadn't gotten around to shelving it yet. I was happy. I had my book.

A day later, I was oiling my chain (literally, no metaphor) outside the place I was staying at. A chap walks up and starts talking bikes. He's a consultant cycling coach, involved with a number of clubs - Hillingdon, Croydon (the one Paul Smith funds) plus he has several clients living in Spain, France and the UK. He was clearly well connected, mentioning "Brad" and "Pooley", who he knew well. I didn't get the sense he was name dropping either, he genuinely knew these people. So I mentioned that I was reading Nicole Cooke's book. "ah, Cookie" he said "she burnt some bridges".

Those 2 incidents seemed to echo themes of the book and made me see what Cooke was up against. That she had the successes she had speaks volumes to her character.
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: rafletcher on November 14, 2014, 11:44:53 am
An interview on CN now.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/exclusive-q-and-a-nicole-cooke
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: andrew_s on January 01, 2015, 10:10:56 pm
I finished reading Nicole's autobiography last week. It is a very blunt read in places.

Currently available for £2.50 on kindle
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Breakaway-Nicole-Cooke-ebook/dp/B00DJWA0OW/ref=sr_1_101?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420146662&sr=1-101
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: Rhys W on January 20, 2015, 10:17:05 pm
Ahem...

(http://i.imgur.com/dO8308i.jpg)

She is a clubmate after all. I remember her turning up at the club 10, aged 12, with her dad and brother... (continued on page 192)
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: sg37409 on January 20, 2015, 10:20:25 pm
jammy get
Title: Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
Post by: David Martin on January 21, 2015, 10:37:50 pm
Read the kindle version on holiday. A good read and not terribly complimentary about some.