CYCLIST, FORMER OLYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION
Born in Swansea and brought up in the Vale of Glamorgan, Nicole Denise Cooke fell in love with cycling on family holidays, with impressive results. At 16, she won the Elite road race, becoming the youngest ever senior British cycling champion, and at 20 won the World Cup. She became the first cyclist to win an Olympic and a World Championship road race gold at 25, and was awarded an MBE in 2009. A longstanding campaigner for equality and an outspoken critic of drug use in her sport, Cooke retired from competition in 2013, and published her autobiography, The Breakaway, a year later, which was named The Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year.
Dates: 1983 – present
Image Credit: Allstar Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo