Baden Cooke admits that he took things easy in Saturday’s time trial, knowing that his race really s
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Sporting a striking new Mohican, Baden Cooke stepped out of the Francaise des Jeux team van this morning and studied the throng in the Tour start village at Challans. Like many of the sprinters in the peloton, Saturday’s time trial had been something of a disappointment for the Australian, but then, like green jersey rival Tom Boonen of Belgium, Cooke was adamant that his Tour de France didn’t begin until stage two.
“It was clear before the start of the time trial yesterday that none of the sprinters would get the yellow jersey this year,” Cooke said. “I had no ambitions of trying to get anywhere near it, because I knew that even on my best day, I’d still be three stage wins away from getting it. Chasing it would just have been a waste of energy.”
So how had he approached such a tricky opening to the Tour?
“My attitude was just to save as much energy as possible. I just wanted to get to the finish, so I was pretty relaxed. I had no huge aspirations. In fact I was trying to conserve as much as possible.”
Based on yesterday’s results, some in the race convoy are already expecting a more fierce battle for the prestigious green jersey than for the maillot jaune. “I’ve got to make big points now over the next week, because after that it will be tough,” admitted Cooke. “If I can get a stage win then rest follows.”