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  1. ITV Report

Cooke leads Welsh hopes for first London medal

Cyclist Nicole Cooke will head into today's women's road race hoping to bring Wales and Great Britain their first medal of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Swansea born rider, who claimed a famous victory in the same race at the Beijing Games four years ago, goes into this years race in somewhat patchier form though.

She'll also have to beat off opposition from very close to home in the shape of team mate and fellow medal hopeful Lizzie Armitstead.

The pair have fought an acrimonious battle over the past two seasons as they vie for the role of lead rider for the race.

Following last September's World Championships, there was a public fall-out when Armitstead accused fourth-placed finisher Cooke of riding "for herself", having finished a disappointing seventh. Armitstead had been the nominated lead rider.

But ahead of the first medal race of the games the pair have moved to dispel any talk of division amongst team members.

29-year-old Cooke has struggled to live up to the form which saw her take the Olympic title last time out, but is set to be given a free role in the race by women's road coach Chris Newton.

"I've been thinking about this Olympics for a very long time. I'm happy with how my training's gone and I'm just so excited." Cooke said.

"As the GB team we're perhaps not the favourites, but we've got a definite chance of winning or getting a medal. It's very much game on.

"We've got four riders who could all take on the leadership role as the race develops and evolves.

"We know we can all rely on each other in the race. It's a good position going into the race."

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