Author Topic: Nicole Cooke retires from racing  (Read 4928 times)

Rhys W

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Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« on: January 14, 2013, 06:07:18 pm »
Nicole Cooke retires from racing, takes swipe at drugs cheats.

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.

robgul

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Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 07:09:39 pm »
... perhaps she could become Director Sportif for the new CTC Gurlz Racing Team  :demon:

Rob

Jakob

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #2 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.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 07:20:20 pm »
Does she have any comments regarding the women racers who doped?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #4 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.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #5 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.



spesh

  • It's starting to look a lot like Cthulhumas!
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #6 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
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

spesh

  • It's starting to look a lot like Cthulhumas!
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #7 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.
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 08:59:52 pm »
She sounds pretty bitter. With good reason I think.

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #9 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.

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 11:42:22 pm »
Maybe there is a managers job at team CTC?
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

MalRees

  • Hayes - centre of no known universe
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #11 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.

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #12 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?
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #13 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.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #14 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.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #15 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.

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #16 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.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

spesh

  • It's starting to look a lot like Cthulhumas!
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #17 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:
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #18 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.

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #19 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...

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #20 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?
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #21 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.

Re: Nicole Cooke interviewed re: Lance
« Reply #22 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.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

jane

  • Mad pie-hating female
Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #23 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. 

Andrew

Re: Nicole Cooke retires from racing
« Reply #24 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.