July 09, 2008

Cavendish makes good on Stage 5

Legendary Tour de France commentator Joe Namath once said, “It's not bragging if you can do it.”

That's the motto for today's stage, the first (but doubtful the last) won by Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish.

Everybody and his brother thought today was a stage for Mark Cavendish. Team manager Bob Stapleton was even talking about whether his Team Columbia would be able to get help chasing down the breaks today.

It's insanely difficult for a sprinter to pick his stage -- it's so easy for someone to grab his wheel, and slingshot by for the win at the line. But Cavendish delivered the win in a finish complicated by the catch, at 50 meters (!) of French champion Nicolas Vogondy, who spent all day in the break.

Stage 5 results
1) Mark Cavendish, Columbia, Great Britain
2) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, same time
3) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, s.t.
4) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, s.t.
5) Baden Cooke, Barloworld, Australia, s.t.
6) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, S. Africa, s.t.
7) Leonardo “El” Duque, Cofidis, Colombia, s.t
8) Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto, Australia, s.t.
9) Francesco Chicchi, Liquigas, Italy, s.t.
10) Julian Dean, Garmin-Chipotle, New Zealand, s.t.

There was essentially no change in the yellow, white, or polka-dot jersey competition, but Thor Hushovd takes over the green with his 4th on the stage.

General Classification after Stage 5
1) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, Germany, in 19:32:33
2) Kim Kirchen, Columbia, Luxembourg, @ :12
3) David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle, Great Britain, @ :12
4) Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, Australia, @ :21
5) Fabian Cancellara, CSC-Saxo Bank, Switzerland, @ :33
6) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle, USA, @ :37
7) Georgie Hincapie, Team Columbia, USA, @ :41
8) Thomas Lövkvist, Team Columbia, Sweden, @ :47
9) Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, Italy, @ :58
10) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 1:01

Out of the race today was Maurcio Soler of Barloworld. Gerolsteiner's Heinrich Haussler took a serious spill with less than 4 kms to ride, but finished the stage 6:30 behind Cavendish.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2008 in 2008 Stage 5, Baden Cooke, Erik Zabel, Mark Cavendish, Oscar Freire, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 05, 2008

Where are they from?

I always review the nationalities breakdown for the Tour, with a special eye toward the English-speaking countries. Here's last year's, for comparison.

George Hincapie, Team Columbia
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle
Will Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle
Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle

This is the least in years, with Freddie Rodriguez riding in the U.S., Bobby Julich not selected, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer barred with Astana, and David Zabriskie nursing a back injury.

Baden Cooke, Barloworld
Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Simon Gerrans, Credit Agricole
Adam Hansen, Team Columbia
Brett Lancaster, Milram
Trent Lowe, Garmin-Chipotle
Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, CSC-Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, Credit Agricole

Baden Cooke is back; Adam Hansen, Trent Lowe, and Mark Renshaw are new, and Michael Rogers is out.

Great Britain:
Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia
Christopher Froome, Barloworld
David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle

Out are Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Charlie Wegelius. I've got Christopher Froome as being from Kenya, which isn't in the list below. Put him there, and Great Britain drops to just a pair.

New Zealand
Julian Dean, Garmin-Chipotle

As last year.

South Africa
Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
John-Lee Augustyn, Barloworld

Adds Augustyn.

Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Chipotle

First Canuck since 1997. Maybe Michael Barry will join him one year.

Here's the official breakdown, according to the Tour website:

40: France (2007 count in parentheses: 35)
30: Spain (42)
21: Italy (18)
16: Germany (19)
12: Belgium (13)
10: The Netherlands (7)
9: Australia (6)
4: USA (6), Russia (6) and Switzerland (5)
3: Colombia (3), Great Britain (5) and Luxembourg (2)
2: South Africa (1), Austria (3), Belarus (2), Norway (2), Sweden (1) and Ukraine (2)
1: Brazil (1), Canada (0), Denmark (1), Kazakhstan (4), New Zealand (1), Poland (0), Czech Republic (0), Slovakia (0) and Slovenia (1)

Spanish representation drops from 42 riders last year to 30 this year, with France jumping from 35 to 40.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 5, 2008 in About the Tour, Baden Cooke, Bobby Julich, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 14, 2007

Unheralded Lapthorne takes Aussie road title

VeloNews | Lapthorne takes Australian elite road title

Darren Lapthorne, just 23, beat out a crop of better-known racers to take the Australian national championship jersey. Lapthorne is an undergraduate studying business, and led Drapac Porsche teammate Robert McLachlan across the line by 15 seconds. Karl Menzies, of the US-based HealthNet team, was third.

“It's the happiest day of my life ... It is an unbelievable moment for me and I'll never forget it.”

McLachlan scored his third consecutive 2nd place in the Aussie championships.

Among the ProTour riders in the race were Simon Gerrans, Allan Davis, Matt Wilson, Henk Vogels, and Baden Cooke.

Meanwhile, Robbie McEwen's status for the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia, is still unknown. The race starts Tuesday, and McEwen, the most prolific stage winner in the race's history, will be the last rider to arrive in Adelaide, skipping the rider presentation. From AdelaideNow:

McEwen has told veteran cycling commentator Phil Liggett he is hungry to add to his TDU stage win tally of 11 this week to underscore his early-season form and maximise his preparation for the Milan-San Remo spring classic in March he so dearly wants to win.

But the Queenslander is one of the most unpredictable riders in the world with a reputation for winning from out of the blue so, infection or not, only a fool would discount him tomorrow night.

Posted by Frank Steele on January 14, 2007 in Baden Cooke, Robbie McEwen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2007

More antipodean angst: McEwen doubtful for Aussie nats

The Australian | McEwen in doubt for title race

Henk Vogels @ Tour de GeorgiaRobbie McEwen looks doubtful for Sunday's Australian national championship, as he tries to recover from a chest infection.

McEwen, twice the Australian champion, withdrew from a race Sunday, and is being treated with antibiotics in the hope that he can return to action on Sunday, then race the Tour Down Under, which starts next Tuesday.

"At this stage Robbie is a 50-50 chance at best of racing," championship director John Craven said last night.

CSC's Stuart O'Grady has already begged off, citing the difficulty and length of the race (160 kms) and his early season fitness.

ProTour riders expected to make the start include Allan Davis, back from his Operación Puerto exile (and rumored to be on the verge of a contract with Discovery Channel), former Tour green jersey Baden Cooke, Henk Vogels (photo above) and reigning Aussie champ Matt Wilson.

Posted by Frank Steele on January 9, 2007 in Baden Cooke, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

Tour starters: English-speaking countries roundup

Since most of my readership comes from English speaking countries, I thought I would post a quick roundup of which (and how many) citizens of the former colonies are scheduled to ride in this year's Tour.

    United States (8 riders, 1 reserve)

  • George Hincapie, Discovery
  • Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto
  • Bobby Julich, CSC
  • Floyd Landis, Phonak
  • Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner
  • Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto
  • Christian Vande Velde, CSC
  • Dave Zabriskie, CSC
  • Reserve: AmerItalian Guido Trenti

Last year, all of these plus Lance Armstrong and Trenti, but minus Vande Velde.

    Australia (6 riders):

  • Allan Davis, Astaná-Würth
  • Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto
  • Simon Gerrans, AG2R
  • Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto
  • Stuart O'Grady, CSC
  • Michael Rogers, T-Mobile

Last year, Australia had all these, plus Baden Cooke, Brad McGee, Luke Roberts, and Matthew White.

    Great Britain (2 riders):

  • David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir
  • Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis

Great Britain was shut out last year.

    South Africa (1 rider):

  • Robbie Hunter, Phonak

As last year.

    New Zealand (1 rider):

  • Julian Dean, Credit Agricole

None last year, although Dean rode in 2004.

    Canada (1 alternate):

  • Michael Barry, Discovery Channel

Plus permission to root for David Canada. The last Canadian in the Tour was Gord Fraser in 1997, but Ryder Hesjedal or Barry should break that streak soon.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 21, 2006 in Baden Cooke, Bradley McGee, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Floyd Landis, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006

Awaiting the jury: Hamilton makes his case

AP/Ed Andrieski
ESPN.com | Tyler Hamilton appeals to CAS to overturn doping ban

Tyler Hamilton's appeal hearing proceeded as expected today, at the Brown Palace hotel in Denver.

Outside the hearing, Hamilton refused comment, except to maintain his innocence of the blood doping charge that led to his 2-year suspension.

Looking for a summary? The New York Times did a pretty good overview of the test and its possible issues back in May 2005. In short, Hamilton was found to have someone else's blood in his bloodstream, a result confirmed by his 'B' sample and made doubly suspicious in light of the only other positive test so far: Hamilton's teammate Santiago Perez.

Hamilton's defense has suggested that Hamilton might have had a chimeric twin in utero, and that some small amount of the twin's blood might continue to show up on blood test even today.

Doping enforcers point out that the test has been used for many years in obstetrics, and that even Hamilton's defense team doesn't deny the presence of someone else's blood cells.

By the way, "Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France" is making the rounds. Before Hamilton's suspension, the movie, tentatively called "Brainpower", was to follow Hamilton through the 2003 Tour, and teach about the human body and brain while doing it. After the fall, filmmakers changed course, and Baden Cooke and Jimmy Casper get most of the screen time.

Posted by Frank Steele on January 10, 2006 in Baden Cooke, Doping, Top Stories, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2005

Baden Cooke's Tour depantsing

procycling | Tour st 7: Good day, bad day

Procycling addresses one of the biggest mysteries of the Tour so far -- what does Française des Jeux think it's doing at the end of the sprint stages?

Bad day:

Baden Cooke: The Francaise des Jeux rider’s loss of form over the past two seasons is one of professional cycling’s great mysteries. The same could be said of the hairstyle which Cooke is sporting at this year’s Tour – a ‘do’ which could be the first and is hopefully the last of the mullet Mohicans. To pull off an aberration like that you need to be good, very good, and Cooke simply hasn’t been that for the best part of two seasons. It pains us to see Bradley McGee wasting precious energy to ‘pilot’ Cooke for such meagre rewards.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2005 in Baden Cooke | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 06, 2005

McEwen gets a stage win

It's all me, baby
McEwen takes the stage
Robbie McEwen found the right wheel today, shadowing Quick Step's Tom Boonen almost to the line, then outpowering Boonen to a stage win.

McEwen's victory salute may not go down with Juan Antonio Flecha's archer, as he repeatedly pointed with both hands at his chest. Yes, we get it, Robbie, you won a stage, even after the mean judges said you didn't work and play well with others.

Boonen was 2nd and Thor Hushovd of Credit Agricole 3rd on the stage. Stuart O'Grady continues to be near but not quite in on the action, taking 4th on the day.

Flecha himself, now riding for Fassa Bortolo, was in the day's longest breakaway, along with Lampre's Salvatore Commesso, Credit Agricole's Laszlo Bodrogi, and Liquigas-Bianchi's Kjell Carlstrom.

McEwen, twice the Tour's green jersey overall winner, said earlier this week that he thinks he's out of that competition after being relegated to the back of the field when he interfered with Stuart O'Grady at the end of Stage 3. He sits 4th in the points competition with today's win, 45 points behind Boonen.

Top 10 (all in 3:46:00):
1) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto
2) Tom Boonen, Quick Step
3) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole
4) Stuart O'Grady, Cofidis
5) Angelo Furlan, Domina Vacanze
6) Allan Davis, Liberty Seguros
7) Bernhard Eisel, Française des Jeux
8) Baden Cooke, Française des Jeux
9) Jens Voigt, CSC
10) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner

I still don't get what's going on with FdJ: You don't get bonus points for having extra guys near the front of the sprint.

Saunier Duval-Prodir's Constantino Zaballa withdrew today, the first rider out of the 2005 Tour.

No significant changes in the GC, but we have a new lanterne rouge, the imaginary competition for the last-placed rider: After Janeck Tomback of Cofidis rode into the hay bales with 4 kilometers to ride, he lost 2:21 on the stage, and took over last place, 13:13 behind Lance Armstrong.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Jens Voigt, Robbie McEwen, Stage results, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 03, 2005

Boonen takes Stage 2, green jersey

Quick Step's Tom Boonen outsprinted the field to take the first sprint finish of the 2005 Tour.

The 25-year-old has had a terrific season, winning Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, two stages at Paris-Nice, and the Tour of Belgium. He took Stage 7 and Stage 21 of last year's Tour, as well.

One of the very interesting subplots this year is the battle for the green jersey: Boonen, Hushovd, and McEwen are the favorites, and Boonen takes the early lead in that competition.

Top 10 (all same time):

1) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, 3:51:31
2) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole
3) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto
4) Stuart O'Grady, Cofidis
5) Luciano Pagliarini, Liquigas-Bianchi
6) Juan Antonio Flecha, Fassa Bortolo
7) Peter Wrolich, Gerolsteiner
8) Jerome Pineau, Bouygues Telecom
9) Baden Cooke, Française Des Jeux
10) Allan Davis, Liberty Seguros

I was discounting O'Grady this year, but that's a pretty competitive placing.

There was a late crash featuring Samuel Dumoulin; I guess this is as good a time as any to note that the “last 1 km” rule is now a “last 3 km” rule, where riders who crash in the peloton in the last 3 kilometers get the same time as the main field.

Armstrong post-race quote:

“I figure the faster I pedal, the faster I can retire.”

Bodrogi moves up into 3rd on the GC, based on an intermediate sprint bonus.


Yahoo! Sport | Boonen scares Belgium by almost quitting

Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Stage results, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 27, 2005

Piil out, Roberts in on CSC Tour squad

procycling | Piil dropped from CSC team

Jakob Piil at Brasstown Bald, 2004
Dane out of water:
Piil @ Brasstown Bald, 2004
Photo by Frank Steele.
CSC has made its final Tour selection. Their last decision was whether to bring 2003 Stage 10 winner Jakob Piil of Denmark, or Australia's Luke Roberts. They're going with 28-year-old former trackie Roberts (a gold medalist in team pursuit at the Athens Olympics), who heard the news last night.

Piil has had a rough year, but thought he might convince Riis with a good placing in the Danish national championships yesterday. Unfortunately, Piil crashed out of yesterday's race, as well. CSC still took the top 3 placings, with Lars Bak 1st, Lars Michaelsen 2nd, and Matti Breschel 3rd.

Roberts took 4th in the 1st stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, his best placing for the season.


Team CSC | Luke Roberts Selected For the Tour | Roberts profile

cyclingnews.com | All dreams come true for Roberts

CyclingNews offers a full roundup of Australian participants in this year's Tour (barring a Matthew White-style mishap):

Ag2r: Simon Gerrans (VIC)

Quick Step:
Michael Rogers, 25 (ACT)

Cadel Evans, 28, (VIC)
Robbie McEwen, 33, (QLD)

Francaise des Jeux:
Brad McGee, 29, (NSW)
Baden Cooke, 26, (VIC)

Luke Roberts, 28, (SA)

Stuart O'Grady, 31, (SA)
Matt White, 31, (NSW)

Liberty Seguros:
Allan Davis, 24, (QLD)

Posted by Frank Steele on June 27, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Cadel Evans, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2005

CSC's Gerdemann takes TdS Stage 7, Rogers holds race lead

BBC SPORT | Gerdemann breaks pro victory duck

Back-to-back surprise wins at the Tour of Switzerland, as CSC's Linus Gerdemann forged a stage win with an attack in the last 8 kms of the Friday stage. Gerdemann kept five chasers at bay, including Freddie Rodriguez, and finished 4 seconds clear of Fassa Bortolo's Lorenzo Bernucci.

There was no significant change to the overall standings, where Michael Rogers of Quick Step continues to lead Jan Ullrich by 20 seconds and Brad McGee by 22 seconds.'

Saturday the race has a long uphill finish that might be decisive in the overall classification.

Top 10:
1) Linus Gerdemann, Team CSC, 4:25
2) Lorenzo Bernucci, Fassa Bortolo, at :04
3) David Etxebarria, Liberty Seguros, at :14
4) Karsten Kroon, Rabobank, at :15
5) Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto, same time
6) Martin Elmiger, Phonak, same time
7) Daniele Colli, Liquigas, at :23
8) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
9) Baden Cooke, Francaise des Jeux, same time
10) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, same time

Posted by Frank Steele on June 18, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Fred Rodriguez, Jan Ullrich, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

McEwen takes mass sprint at Tour de Suisse

VeloNews.co | McEwen wins stage at Swiss Tour

McGee in a sprint
cyclingnews.com gallery
With Alessandro Petacchi skipping this year's Tour de France, it looks like Robbie McEwen will be the fast man to beat during the Tour's first week.

Today, he took a big field sprint in Bad Zurzach (my favorite Spiderman villain!) at the Tour of Switzerland, following 3 wins in a short stay at the Giro d'Italia last month. McEwen briefly wore the leader's maglia rosa, but authorities confiscated a hyperbaric tent from his Davitamon-Lotto team, so Italy was a mixed bag.

McEwen has managed to maintain a high level of fitness since winter, when he won a number of summer races in the southern hemisphere, including 3 stages at the Tour Down Under (where beer does flow and men chunder). On the other hand, he skipped a number of classics with flu, and left the Giro before the hardest stages, so he may be tapering perfectly to the Tour.

Jan Ullrich holds the overall lead, and is likely to keep it through tomorrow at least, as tomorrow's stage is another moderate profile. Thursday, the mountains.

Top 10:
1) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, 4:42:40
2) Daniele Colli, Liquigas-Bianchi, same time
3) Aurelien Clerc, Phonak Hearing Systems, same time
4) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, same time
5) Sebastien Hinault, Credit Agricole, same time
6) Baden Cooke, Française Des Jeux, same time
7) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
8) Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, same time
9) David Loosli, Lampre-Caffita, same time
10) Roger Hammond, Discovery Channel, same time


Eurosport.com | Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Live Comments

cyclingnews.com | Tour de Suisse Stage 4 results

Posted by Frank Steele on June 14, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Jan Ullrich, Robbie McEwen, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 11, 2005

Bernhard Eisel takes first stage at Tour de Suisse

Eurosport | Boonen beaten in Eisel coup

Eisel takes the sprint win
Photo: cyclingnews.com
It was a different kind of Aussie taking the sprint for Française Des Jeux today, as Austria's Bernhard Eisel took the first stage of the Tour de Suisse, ahead of Quick Step's Tom Boonen and Gerolsteiner's Peter Wrolich.

Normally, you expect a stage win out of FDJ's Australian sprint specialist, Baden Cooke, or fellow Australian Bradley McGee, but on Saturday, Eisel rode a long, almost Petacchi-like leadout to overcome Paolo Bettini, who tried to launch a winning move from 350 meters out, and Boonen, who had a very successful campaign through the spring classics.

After the stage, Eisel thanked Cooke for the win, saying Cooke had told his teammates with 20 kilometers to ride that he wasn't feeling strong enough to sprint for the win.

Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen chose to not even contest the final sprint.

Tomorrow is a 36-kilometer individual time trial that should provide a measure of Jan Ullrich's fitness with 3 weeks to go to the start of the Tour de France.

Top 10:

1) Bernhard Eisel, Française Des Jeux, 4:00:07
2) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, same time
3) Peter Wrolich, Gerolsteiner, same time
4) Paolo Bettini, Quick Step, same time
5) Bradley McGee, Française Des Jeux, at :03
6) Baden Cooke, Française Des Jeux, same time
7) Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, at 0:06
8) Vladimir Gusev, CSC, same time
9) Aurelien Clerc, Phonak, same time
10) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time


cyclingnews.com | That's not Baden!

Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Bradley McGee, Fabian Cancellara, Jan Ullrich, Robbie McEwen, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 11, 2005

Your Giro quote of the day

www.cyclingnews.com | Brutto finish in Frosinone

From Baden Cooke, who saw victory snatched away by the race barriers and Paolo Bettini's squirrely sprint:

F***! I f**king got over the hill no worries. None of the sprinters were left, I got on Bettini's wheel, he hit out early, I gave him a length, and I was f**in' absolutely cruising. Dropped it down the gears, ran at him, just about to blow his helmet off as I went past him...and he's just turned left and put me in the barrier. I had it won, I was just about to throw my hands in the air. Instead I did five somersaults down the road!

Posted by Frank Steele on May 11, 2005 in Baden Cooke, Giro d'Italia 2005, Paolo Bettini | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 09, 2005

It's going to be an interesting Giro

VeloNews.com | Bettini e buonissimo!

QuickStep's Paolo Bettini found Stage 1 of the 2005 Giro suited him perfectly.

Bettini made a move in the last kilometer of the race, where the course came to a short steep uphill. It was a trademark Bettini move, and Alessandro Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo squad wasn't able to respond in time to reel in the 2004 Olympic road race champion.

Coming up to the line, Lotto's sprint specialist Robbie McEwen showed he's back in terrific form after an early-season flu led him to skip the spring classics, as he put a second into Petacchi and took 2nd on the day. Petacchi, who took 9 stages of last year's Giro, was 3rd, followed by Baden Cooke and Manuele Mori.

The full top 10:

1) Paolo Bettini, Quick Step, in 5:09:32
2) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, at :03
3) Alessandro Petacchi, Fassa Bortolo, at :04
4) Baden Cooke, Francaise Des Jeux, at :04
5) Manuele Mori, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at :04
6) Erik Zabel, T-Mobile Team, at :04
7) Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas-Bianchi, at :04
8) Mirko Celestino, Domina Vacanze, at :04
9) Damiano Cunego, Lampre-Caffita, at :04
10) Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano, Davitamon-Lotto, at :04

It was Bettini's first-ever Giro win, and he'll wear the maglia rosa for the first time.

Discovery's Paolo Savoldelli finished with the leaders, and sits 4th overall, 22 seconds behind Bettini, and 3 seconds ahead of Lampre's Cunego. Ivan Basso finished at 9 seconds today.


Daily Peloton | Giro Stage 1 Live Report

CyclingNews.com | Stage 1 full report (with results)

Posted by Frank Steele on May 9, 2005 in Alessandro Petacchi, Baden Cooke, Damiano Cunego, Erik Zabel, Giro d'Italia 2005, Paolo Bettini, Robbie McEwen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Cooke: A repeat in green?

Bike.com | Baden Cooke is Ready to Defend His Green Jersey

At 25, Baden Cooke is starting his 3rd Tour de France with 2003's green jersey on his back. This season has started slowly, with his only victory coming in April at the Three Days of De Panne. “I may not have won recently but I know that my form is better than last year.”

Cookie will be looking to repeat in green, and thinks the difficult last week will cull some of the fastest sprinters.

“It’s very long for many of the other fast riders to survive the Alps and the Pyrénées, it becomes boring when there’s nothing else to do in the race but wait for the final stage.”

Cooke also wants to have a go at winning the final stage on the Champs Elysees, where he was 2nd in 2002.

He'll be joined by 9 other Australians, a remarkable showing. The full Aussie list:

• Baden Cooke (fdjeux.com)
• Bradley McGee (fdjeux.com)
• Matthew Wilson (fdjeux.com)
• Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis)
• Matthew White (Cofidis)
• Michael Rogers (Quick Step-Davitamon)
• Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)
• Scott Sunderland (Alessio-Bianchi)
• Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo)
• Nick Gates (Lotto-Domo)

Cooke will be maintaining an online Tour diary at < AHREF="http://www.bike.com/">Bike.com.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 1, 2004 in Baden Cooke | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2004

Who will wear the green?

Eurosport | Tour 2004: Green Jersey Guide

Eurosport offers a preview of this year's green jersey competition. One of the major races within this race will be Alessandro Petacchi's efforts to survive the mountains without being eliminated for going over the time limit. If he can survive the full Tour, he has to be the favorite for the sprinter's jersey, based on his record 9 stage wins in this year's Giro.

This has been an Australian stronghold the last few years, with Baden Cooke winning in 2003, Robbie McEwen taking 2002, and Stuart O'Grady factoring in the green jersey competition the last few years, holding the jersey until the last day of the 2001 Tour.

Other sprinters to watch: Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), and 6-time green jersey winner Erik Zabel.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2004 in Alessandro Petacchi, Baden Cooke, Erik Zabel, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Tour '04 Previews | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 25, 2004

Tour Down Under wraps up

(Click through to GrahamWatson.com galleries)

GrahamWatson.com | Tour Down Under photo galleries

Cycling's number-one photographer has been getting in his early-season training, and has some great shots from the Tour Down Under, which finished today, with a stage win for Aussie Baden Cooke, and an overall victory for veteran Patrick Jonker, who had announced his retirement after this race.

Cooke pipped Robbie McEwen on the line, renewing the rivalry from the 2003 Tour's green jersey competition.

Also: VeloNews | Jonker wraps up Tour Down Under as Cooke takes final stage

Posted by Frank Steele on January 25, 2004 in Baden Cooke, Photo galleries, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2003

Stage 20: Nazon takes stage, Cooke takes green, Armstrong takes yellow

Jean-Patrick Nazon secured another stage win for France, beating the other sprinters to the line on the Champs-Elysees. The win should help to salvage the Tour for the Jean Delatour team, which many commentators felt didn't deserve to be in the Tour.

Baden Cooke, who had held the sprinter's green jersey for much of the Tour, then lost it during Stage 18, was second (in a photo finish) at the line, just ahead of fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen of Lotto-Domo, to take the overall green jersey, joining McEwen as the only Australians to take the points prize. Cooke and McEwen split the two intermediate sprints on the day.

Lance Armstrong finished well back in the peloton, which was cracked by the high tempo set by the sprinters' teams. As a result, Armstrong lost 15 seconds to Jan Ullrich, riding in the first group. Armstrong's final margin of victory was 1:05 in his 5th Tour de France victory. Armstrong joins Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain as 5-time winners. Only Armstrong and Indurain have won 5 consecutively.

As expected, Richard Virenque won the King of the Mountains jersey, and Denis Menchov of iBanesto.com took the white jersey for outstanding young rider.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 27, 2003 in Baden Cooke, Stage results | Permalink | Comments (0)