There will be no more leading out Baden Cooke in the sprints for Brad McGee, as the Australian focus
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Winner of the prologue stage of the 2003 Tour de France in Paris, Brad McGee is going into this year’s race with a different game plan and objective to previous seasons, when he spent a lot of time working hard to set up Francaise des Jeux team-mate Baden Cooke for the points title. This year, McGee is focusing 100% on his own jersey hopes, in his case the yellow.
“I’ve modified my plans with regard to other seasons,” the 29-year-old Australian told AFP. “Before my role was to lead out the sprints for Baden with the green jersey in mind. But this year we will be depending on the legs of other riders to fulfil that role, particularly Bernhard Eisel and Carlos Da Cruz. As for me, I will use my eight years of experience to act as guide to Baden as the race runs in towards the finish, but that’s all. By doing that I should reach the mountain stages feeling pretty fresh.”
Although tomorrow’s opening time trial is much longer than the one McGee won in 2003, McGee believes the 19km Fromentine opener should suit him better than the much shorter Paris prologue. “I’m still thinking about victory as I was in Paris. Those 19 kilometres suit me a lot better. They are more in line with my new focus, which is all about having a good overall finish,” explained McGee.
“My ambition is to be at the front, in the first group, going over the major cols. I’ve have prepared totally with that goal in mind. I am well prepared and the whole team is behind me. I have even changed my bike, which is lighter than it was before. Some people might be surprised to see me with the best, but I think I’ve got a good chance of being up there on the summits.”