Nicole began cycling with her family and spent many summer holidays touring around Britain with her family on tandems. She got the racing bug at 11 and beating the boys on an early trip to Holland confirmed her potential.
After 'A' levels Nicole left school to live and race in Italy at the age of 18 and learnt from the best riders in the peleton like Joane Somarriba at her first team Deia-Pragma-Colnago. Nicole made a successful transition to the Elite ranks and in her first season in 2002 won 2 of her first 4 races and brought home Gold for her beloved Wales in the Road Race at the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester.
In 2003 Nicole continued to improve and won her first world cup the Amstel Gold Race, a few days later she added the Fleche Wallone World Cup and bounced to the top of the World Cup standings. With this confidence Nicole went on to win another World Cup in Plouay later in the season and became the younest winner of the World Cup at 20 and finished the season with Bronze at the World Championships.
The next big results came the following year with Nicole's first grand tour the Giro D'Italia. It all came down to the final 2 days racing and Nicole climbed to victory on the mythical Ghisallo climb to win the stage and pull on the Maglia Rosa, her SAFI team protected Nicole and delivered her to Milan to claim her, and her team's first Giro D'Italia victory. A few weeks later Nicole represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Athens, she raced well and finished 5th, a disappointment after high hopes coming into the Games and so Nicole used this valuable experience to help her over the following seasons as she looked towards the Beijing Olympics.
2005 saw more World Cup victories and another World Championship Silver medal. Then, in 2006 Nicole went to her second Commonwealth Games in Melbourne as the sole Welsh representative and won Bronze in a great race totally outnumbered by stronger nations. Back in Europe and supported by her Swiss based Raleigh-Lifefore-Univega Team Nicole had an incredible season winning 3 World Cups and the World Cup Series overall and also the Tour de France with a stunning victory on Mont Ventoux. At the World Championships Nicole won Bronze and finished the season as World Number 1.
Nicole moved to Lugano, Switzerland in 2007 and had a great start to the season winning the Geelong World Cup and Tour of Flanders World Cup and went on to win the Tour de France for the second time with a gutsy ride on the Col du Tormalet. Unfortunately Nicole's season was cut short by a knee injury and missed out on the World Cup Overall after leading right up to the last round.
2008 was a dream year and confirmed Nicole's place in the history books. Under torrential rain Nicole sprinted to victory from a break away group in the Beijing Olympics and realised her dream. "It was the most incredible experience, I was so focused on giving everything until I crossed the line it was like an explosion of emotions as more than 10 years of hard work, determination and believing finally came out!" Riding this wave of emotions Nicole went on the win the World Road Race Title 6 weeks later and have the honour of wearing the famous rainbow jersey for the next year. Nicole is the only cyclist to achieve the incredible double of Olympic and World Champion in the same year!
In 2009 Nicole continued to win more races with victories in Spain and Italy and added the Giro di Trentino to her Palmares. Nicole treated her home fans to a great display of racing by wearing the rainbow jersey to vicotry in the British Road Race Championship in Abergavenny, this was Nicole's 10th British Road Race Title!
2010 contained a lot of good performances and podium places, at the World Championships Nicole came so close to another world championship medal finishing in 4th place and had another close finish at the Commonwealth Games where Nicole finished 5th. Nicole is now gearing up for her next big career target the London Olympics in 2012 where Nicole will be racing on home soil. The motivation and desire are as strong as ever and we look forward to the next chapter in Nicole’s illustrious career.