Cooke says he’s stronger than ever before, motivated for Saxo Bank debut
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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cooke says he’s stronger than ever before, motivated for Saxo Bank debut

by Conal Andrews at 9:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Former Tour de France Maillot Vert Baden Cooke has had a forgettable few seasons due to various team and injury difficulties, but he’s feeling psyched and optimistic about what will be a new start with the Saxo Bank team.

“Right now I should be the strongest I've ever been. Hopefully I can piece the puzzle back together and win some big races," Cooke told the Herald Sun.

“In 2002 I was ninth in the world championships and I'm a hell of a lot stronger now, so I think anything's possible.”

The move to Saxo Bank comes about thanks in part to his friend and fellow Australian, Bradley McGee. He’s been working with the team and has helped give Cooke the fresh start that he needs.

“This past year was my worst year of my career," Cooke revealed. “I had eight crashes. I was just constantly sick or crashing. Every time I got going again something happened. So to go from that to coming into the best team in the world is really exciting.”

He will begin his 2010 season in the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic on Sunday. This will act to fine-tune his form in advance of his Saxo Bank debut in the Tour Down Under on January 17th. That will be the first of his three main goals of the season; the other two are the Giro d’Italia in May and then the world road race championships in Geelong in Australia in October.

McGee is now coaching him and has made some changes that Cooke hopes will pay off. “I've done a bit less volume and a hell of a lot less intensity," he said. “It's been a lot more scientific this year.

“The whole idea of the training is for me to peak a bit later, to get to the bigger races in the second half of the year.”


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