GreenEdge believes Cooke can challenge on tomorrow’s summit finish in Oman
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Friday, February 17, 2012

GreenEdge believes Cooke can challenge on tomorrow’s summit finish in Oman

by VeloNation Press at 2:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
 
Australian riding well with new team

Baden CookeAlthough he was regarded in his early career as a sprinter, the GreenEdge team is convinced that Baden Cooke’s strong form means that he can be a factor on tomorrow’s crucial stage of the Tour of Oman.

The 2003 Tour de France Maillot Vert performed well on today’s lumpy race to Al Wadi Al Kabir, going with the strong riders when things started to break up on the tough finishing circuit.

“The idea today was to put Cookie in a good position once the sprinters started to lose contact,” his directeur sportif Laurenzo Lapage said after the stage. “That’s exactly what the team did. At one point, there were ten guys up the road and the group included Cooke. Griepel was dropped at that point but he managed to get back before the finish.

“Cookie took the final spot in the top ten. We knew he would be up there today.”

Greipel would go on to win the stage, with Cooke finishing in the same time. The latter had started the day fourth overall and while RadioShack Nissan rider Tony Gallopin’s third place on the stage moved him one place in front of Cooke, the GreenEdge rider is nevertheless in a strong position heading into tomorrow’s stage to the top of Green Mountain.

He is nineteen seconds behind Greipel, who is expected to crack on tomorrow’s climb.

Lapage believes that his rider could thrive on Green Mountain, the sole summit finish in the race. “We’re looking to put Cookie in a good position tomorrow,” he said. “We’ll see how far he can go on the overall. With the legs and condition he has now, a lot of things are possible.”

If he does perform, the result will be a welcome confirmation of the solid form he’s shown thus far this year. Cooke was twelfth overall in the Tour of Qatar and took second on stage two in Oman.

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