Nikalas Cook is a freelance writer and coach who works with us at British Cycling developing tips and advice content for the British Cycling website. He writes for a number of publications, including 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus, reviewing the latest bikes and kit and giving readers training advice.
He’s completed numerous cycling challenges including the Trans-Wales MTB stage race, the Fred Whitton, the Raid Pyrenees and both the Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders sportives. Competitively, he likes to combine his cycling with running and has previously won gold in his age-group at the ITU World Long Course Duathlon Championships at Powerman Zofingen.
Five Quick Questions with Nik Cook
When did you start riding?
Nik - Having completed a post-grad degree in Health and Exercise Science, a combination of moving to London, starting work as a personal trainer and creaking knees caused me to retire from rugby and start running. This led to me completing the Marathon des Sables (150-mile race in the Moroccan Sahara) in 2000. This then got me into Adventure Racing and mountain biking, which led to triathlon, duathlon and most forms of cycle sport. So, I’ve been seriously riding for about ten years now.
What motivates you?
Nik - Racing, both running and cycling, has given me the chance to go to some amazing places and the memory of those trips and the thought of future ones is always a push to get out the door and train.
What in your opinion was the best race of your career?
Nik - The ITU World Long Course Duathlon Championships in Zofingen Switzerland in 2012 where I won gold in the 35-39 Age-group. Training had gone perfectly and I got my pacing and nutrition on the day spot on. It’s always a tough day backing up a 10 km first run with a 150 km bike and then a second 30 km run but, until the final 7.5 km, which hurt like hell, it was a dream race.
Who is your hero?
Nik - Sporting wise, probably Chrissie Wellington. She genuinely took her sport to a new level and posted times and results that even ruffled the feathers of her male peers.
What advice would you give to a young rider?
Nik - Don’t get pigeon holed as one type of rider and specialise too early. Get experience of any many forms of bike sport as possible as you’ll be less likely to burn out or get bored, you’ll develop far superior bike handling skills and you’ll develop a more robust and less injury prone body.