Olympic cycling: Nicole Cooke's village cheers gold bid
Published: 29th Jul 2012 11:42:59
Neighbours in cyclist Nicole Cooke's home village are gathering together to watch her try to retain Olympic gold in London.
Cooke, 29, won the first of Great Britain's gold medals at Beijing in 2008 in the women's road race.
Since then, Lizzie Armitstead has taken over as team leader, meaning Cooke could have to sacrifice gold to Armitstead under team orders.
But her supporters in Wick, Vale of Glamorgan, believe she can win gold.
"I think her chances are exceptional," said David Bullen, landlord of the Lamb and Flag pub.
The village put on a fete last time when she won... they love a party in Wick”
"Look at her history - she has been exceptional in the past. We are all hoping for the best."
"We've got lots of people coming along to cheer Nicole on. They want to see her win.
"We are doing a little buffet. We've got the bunting up and flags and bits and pieces like photos of Nicole.
"All my locals have told me about the last Nicole Cooke win in 2008 and what they did then.
"The village put on a fete last time when she won. They love a party in Wick."
Four years ago, Cooke became the first Welsh athlete in 36 years to win Olympic gold.
But while her parents stayed at home for her triumph in China, this time her parents Tony and Denise will be in London to watch her.
Mr Bullen, who has been landlord of the pub since February, said they popped in before setting off for the Games.
"Her parents came in on Thursday to thank us for what we're doing," he added.
"It was lovely to meet them when they came in and gave us bunting.
"We've also hopefully got a video coming from Nicole to thank the Lamb and Flag for what we've done for her in the past."
The road race begins at 12:00 BST from The Mall before the riders head south-west through the city.
They then cross the River Thames at Putney Bridge and continue out through Richmond Park, Bushy Park and past Hampton Court Palace.
The Surrey section of the course incorporates two circuits of a challenging loop around Box Hill before the riders head north through Leatherhead, Esher, Kingston-upon-Thames, Richmond Park and finish back at The Mall.
Elsewhere, other Welsh competitors include swimmer Georgia Davies in the 100m backstroke heats while Ieuan Lloyd competes in the 200m freestyle.
Davies was impressive in her heat on Sunday morning at the Aquatics Centre, qualifying sixth fastest for the semi-final on Sunday night, as Australian Emily Seebohm set a new Olympic record.
Rower Victoria Thornley will compete in the women's eights heats, Elena Allen is in the women's skeet shooting and Sarah Thomas could feature for the GB women's hockey team against Japan.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Olympic cycling: Nicole Cooke's village cheers gold bid. [Online] (Updated 29 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1443317-Olympic-cycling-Nicole-Cookes-village-cheers-gold-bid [Accessed 23rd May 2013]
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