Erstwhile Olympic gold champ Cooke (Nicole) has criticized drug cheats in cycling lately post her recent retirement.
The Swansea-born female riding ace was crowned as the road race Olympic champ in Beijing in 2008. She has also accomplished gold at Commonwealth 2002 & World Championships 2008. She stressed on having a happy, successful & drug-free cycling career but has denounced riders like Armstrong (Lance) who were suspended for doping.
“I am really glad with my cycling career”, stated Cooke. “I have got so many happy memories here since the age of 12. I have been able to win every race & more that could dream of winning. I am really extremely fortunate that I have been able to come up clean. I was robbed by many drug cheats yet I am glad that I could be here where I am today with more feats in the basket than my 12-year-old self could dream of.”
“However, there are many genuine rider, who have been really clean, riders with morals & many of them had to retire from cycling with nothing even after tremendous hard work throughout their life.
Armstrong was infamously ripped off his 7 tour France titles last year following his open confession of banned performance-enhancing drug consumption at a famous chat show hosted by Oprah Winfrey. The American has usually denied any instance of doping earlier but came up with all his secrets at the popular chat show.
However, Armstrong’s tears at the show could not sway Cooke and she has also criticized the once-legendary rider.
“When Armstrong cried at the show, Winfrey passed on a tissue to him.Just think about all those genuine riders who had to walk away sans any reward”, Cooke added in.
“Tyler (another rider suspended for doping) would make more cash from the book elaborating how he actually cheated in comparison what I would make throughout my career with honest labor.”
The 2014 Tour France would not only be remembered because of the dramatic win by Italian star Nibali but also because of the crashing accidents that compelled some of the most elite riders to pull out from the 101st edition of the world’s most prestigious cycling event.
Among the favorites who had to withdraw from Tour France this year, one was the iconic Alberto Contador. Contador was a winning choice all through but it’s his devastating crash that forced him to quit with a badly injured knee. The star had recently shared about his enormous speed that led him to the disappointing crash at Tour France last July.
According to the sources, Contador was rushing at precisely 76.8 kph pace while he tumbled down at Tour France. The crash happened o July 14th when the competition was in its 10th stage, amidst torrential rain in Vosges mountains.
“20 days post my crash at the Tour France, I downloaded my file and discovered the precise speed of my accident. 78.8 kmph!”, the Spaniard tweeted. The fall occurred when Alberto was peddling on descent from the Petit Ballon- one of the Category I climb.
Unfortunately, Cotador won’t be able to play for quite some time now. Much to his disappointment, he is not allowed to take part in Vuelta Espana as well. The Spaniard was the celebrated champion of Tour France I both 2007 & 2009. He was however, stripped off his 2010 Tour France title on the charge of doping.
Apart from this 31-year-old Spaniard another name that had to withdraw from Tour France this year was Chris Froome. The 2013 Tour France champion Crashed out while riding on cobbles amidst huge rain – the cobbles were one of the newly introduced challenges for the Tour France riders this year.
After a blazing performance at Dauphine, Alberto Contador is in fantastic form and the great Spaniard is pretty confident that he would be successful in preventing Chris Froome from defending his title at 2014 Tour France.
The Tinkoff-Saxo star rider remarked that he is far fitter at present than the 2013 Tour France champion. In regards to the UCI individual World Rankings, it is Contador who is leading the pack while Froome is at the 15th/16th position. In fact, Froome has himself declared that he considers Conttador as his main threat as he proceeds to defend his title at Tour France 2014.
“Chris is the rider to beat as he was being the best for the past couple of years”, said Alberto, the two times Tour France champion.
“However, this year, I am in comparatively better shape. I do not know if my current fitter form would be adequate to topple him but I would try. There’re others worth considering as well.”
Contador has been a proud winner of Tour France in 2007 & 2009.
The Spaniard’s recent results prove that he is once again back on track upholding his former glorious self which was tinted a bit during his 2010 doping ban. This season, he has won at both Tirreno-Adriatico & País Vasco as well as earned an honored 2nd place in Algarve, Catalunya & Critérium Dauphiné.
Tour de France 2014 is going to be the challenging-most ever courtesy its cobbled roads. Talking about the cobble hurdle, the Spanish star said- “I have seen video footage from stage 2 but haven’t ridden it. It would be really tricky. There are several climbs & we would need to take account of the wind as it could have a crucial role that day. I have got good legs & would do fine, though.”
If you were expecting to see Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) perform at the Volta a Catalunya then you can abandon the expectation because recently Wiggins has announced that instead of participating in the tour which starts on the 24th of March 2014 and ends on the 30th of March 2014, he will devote the time to hill training and climbing.
Earlier, he was going to be a part of the tour to support his teammate Chris Froome (Team Sky). But then Wiggins and his coaches decided that a special training programme will be more beneficial for Wiggins. In the 2013, Volta a Catalunya Bradley Wiggins stood fifth in the general classification.
At the moment, training is being given priority by Wiggins because he wants to regain his previous form in order to perform well in Paris-Roubaix (April), Tour of California (May), Tour de France and Criterium du Dauphine (summer months).
Wiggins actually had a very hectic racing schedule ahead. But this training period is going to give him some free time so that he can focus on his training. He is happy that he has got the opportunity to train and improve himself before he makes a comeback for Paris-Roubaix.
The head of Performance support, Tim Kerrison said that in order to control the burdensome workload of Wiggins, a needs-specific training was essential. Wiggins has actually started off very well this cycling season. He has supported his teammates efficiently and has not participated in the general classification races at the Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) and Ruta del Sol (Spain).
In relation to his performance at the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico 2014, Wiggins said that certain things went wrong and thus the result was not satisfactory (he came 3rd in the final stage). Wiggins is of the opinion that now the time has come to take the next major step.