Reigning World Cup champion and current series leader Nicole Cooke will return to Europe in late March fully intent on targetting more World Cup rounds in April – and with what she is adamant is “the strongest team in the world”, Raleigh-Lifeforce, backing her 100 percent.

“It would be wrong to say that T-Mobile ” – who have arguably been Cooke’s toughest opponents so far this year – “are the strongest women’s team at the moment.” she told CW on Friday. “We’re stronger.”

“We had five riders in the top 20 of the World Cup in Geelong last weekend.” – where Cooke comfortably outgunned T-Mobile’s Oenene Wood in a tense finale – she pointed out.

After a short break following her victory in the Geelong Tour and World Cup round, Cooke is now back on a normal training program. She flies back to Europe later this month, in time for two one-day races in Italy on March 24 and March 25th.

Her next big objective, though, will be the World Cups in April. “They’re held more or less on three consecutive weekends, so they will be my targets.”

Overall, she is “sticking to the same sort of strategy as last year. It worked well, and as it’s a tried and tested plan, I’ll do it again.”

For now, though, she’s training in “great weather, nearly 30 degrees during the day and enjoying the Australian summer.”

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