Cooke wins final stage as Sutton takes the overall
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cooke wins final stage as Sutton takes the overall

by Bjorn Haake at 5:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Baden Cooke won the final stage of the Jayco Bay Classic, outsprinting Greg Henderson in the fast criterium. Cooke's Skilled/Lowe Farms teammate Chris Sutton took out the overall, which he had taken over in controversial circumstances yesterday.

Cooke won the very same stage two years ago. "But I won very differently today. That day there was only two of us and we were just fighting to stay away," he told after the race. "Today we wanted to defend the yellow jersey, that was our only objective."

The race was very tactical. "In the process of defending we went on the attack," Cooke said. The closest rival to Sutton was Graeme Brown, only three points behind in the overall. "Once we saw we had a slight gap on him, we really put the hammer down." An exciting drag race developed. "It was phenomenally quick and probably the fastest criterium I have ever done in my life," Cooke admitted.

"We were really hammering for about 15 minutes and the rest of the time we were just going really super-quick." With Brown out of the way for the sprint, there was still one rider to worry about and that was Greg Henderson. "He's in exceptional form and I am extremely happy that I held him off."

The tactics were easy for Skilled/Lowe Farms, according to Cooke. "CJ [Sutton] marked him [Henderson]. I went from the corner on the top to make 'Hendy' chase and put the pressure on him. I knew that if I go through the last corner first I could go very quickly and he would have a hard time get past me."

Cooke saw yesterday's finish less controversial. "Graeme is a bit childish. Hopefully he can come out of this and grow up." In fact Cooke blamed the commissaires to not stand up to Brown, who was handed a 250-dollar fine. "He probably earns 250 bucks in the five minutes [he argued with them]," Cooke said.

Gilmore takes women's overall

In the women's race Rochelle Gilmore defended her lead that she had taken over the first day all the way to the final day. Gilmore's plan of having a teammate win yesterday did not work out, so she went again for it by beating Chloe Hosking, who was also her closest rival in the overall.

Gilmore was pleased with her third victory in four days. "It is a good start to the year," she told "I put a lot of effort into preparing this race with the Honda Dream Team and the girls gave it 100 percent. We came out with more than we had hoped for."

Gilmore was also quite happy with how well the team was prepared to tackle the objective. "I think Honda has taken women's professional cycling to the next level."

With her first wins out of the way, Gilmore already looked ahead. "On Thursday we have the national criterium championships. It is just a one-day race, so anything can happen, but  this is something I certainly would like to win."

After that she will put another round of hard training, "ahead of the Tour of Qatar, which is our first international race this season."

Men's results

1 Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms) 12 points
2 Greg Henderson (Mazda) 10
3 Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) 8
4 Cameron Jennings (Budget Fork Lifts) 7
5 Robbie McEwen (Mazda) 6
6 Graeme Brown (Urban) 5

Final Standings

1 Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) 30 points
2 Greg Henderson (Mazda) 28
3 Graeme Brown (Urban) 24
4 Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms) 20
5 Robbie McEwen (Mazda) 20
6 Matthew Goss (Degani Cycling Cafe) 17
7 Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 15
8 Tom Scully (John Trevorrow Cycles/Chifley Hotel) 12
9 Jack Bobridge (SASI team O’Grady) 10
10 Koen de Kort (O2 Networks) 10


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