||Cycling - Road, Cycling - Track, Cyclo Cross, Mountain Bike
||13 Apr 1983
in Swansea, WAL|
|Weight|| 57 kg|
Further Personal Information
||English, French, German, Italian
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||She began cycling at age 11 in Wales. She started racing in 1994 at the Ajax Cycling Club.
|Why this sport?
||She was introduced to the sport by her family. "My dad and my uncle used to race when they were younger, and when I was younger we'd go on cycling holidays. We had two tandems, and I'd go on one tandem with my mum, and my brother would go on the other with my dad. That was really good and without any pressure of racing. We'd always follow the Tour de France in the summer, so even when I was eight or nine I knew about cycle racing. One time when we were on holiday we were reading Cycling Magazine to see how the Tour was going, and there was a local bit about Maindy track in Cardiff. I went down with my dad, with my mountain bike on the track and did a standing kilometre as my first race."
|Club / Team
||Faren-Honda Racing Team:
||Reading, listening to music, learning languages. (Team Wales Delhi 2010 Guide, 2010)
|Hero / Idol
||Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx. (bbc.co.uk, 12 Apr 2004)
||She had an operation on her left knee in September 2007 and was still having trouble with it in November. She was in so much pain that she considered quitting cycling. (independent.co.uk,19 Oct 2008)
In 2006 she suffered a knee injury during the final month of the World Cup season. She underwent surgery to repair the inflamed tendon at the end of the season. (bikeradar.com, 14 May 2008)
She broke her collarbone in 2005. (independent.co.uk,19 Oct 2008)
A serious knee injury kept her off the track in the lead up to the 2004 Olympic Games. She underwent keyhole surgery to remove an inflamed membrane in May 2004. (BBC Sport, 18 May 2004)
|Awards and honours
||She was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] in January 2009. (roadcyclinguk.com, 06 Jan 2009)
She was accused of "riding for herself" by teammate Lizzie Armitstead after the 2011 World Championships in Copenhagen, "I've never seen her work for a teammate," Armistead said. Cooke denied the allegations. "I rode for the team and according to instructions given to me. I'll ride for whoever the leader is." (telegraph.co.uk, 22 Nov 2011)
She is an ambassador for the 100% Me programme, an education and information initiative that aims to increase the understanding of drug-free sport among the sporting community. (100percentme.co.uk, 16 Jan 2008)