O’Grady’s winning run continues

Stuart O'Grady's great run of form that has seen him win at the Dauphine, Tour and HEW Cyclassics Cu

ZABEL Erik ( GER ) / FREIRE Oscar ( ESP ) / O'GRADY Stuart ( AUS ) / BETTINI Paolo ( ITA ) / REBELLIN Davide ( ITA ) / ASTARLOA Igor ( ESP ) / WHITE Matthew ( AUS )
Stuart O’Grady’s great run of form that has seen him win at the Dauphine, Tour and HEW Cyclassics Cu

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Stuart O’Grady took his second win in only three days, when on Wednesday he blasted across the finish line on the first stage of the Tour of Denmark. After being led out perfectly by his Cofidis team-mates, the Australian had no problems winning the bunch sprint in Esbjerg. On Sunday the Cofidis rider took victory in the HEW Cyclassics Cup event in Hamburg. “I’m riding with a lot of confidence at the moment, and when you’re winning, your legs don’t hurt,” said O’Grady, who is riding for the first time in Denmark. The peloton set out from Aabenraa close to the German border at incredible speed. The first hour, which saw a lot of break away attempts, was contested at no less than 49.5kph, which obviously made it extremely difficult for the escapees to get a serious gap. But finally four riders got a break from the peloton’s relentless chasing and was given about 60 kilometres in the front before they were reeled back in. As expected, it came down to a bunch sprint in which O’Grady had no problems outsprinting Michel Van Haecke (Mr. Bookmaker) and Andr Korff (T-Mobile). The stage victory also earned the Australian the leader’s jersey in the race, which he has a good chance of keeping. But O’Grady doesn’t worry about that just yet. “I’m taking it day by day. At the moment it’s important for me to race and keep the body going,” says the sprinter, who’s in full preparation for the Olympics. “This race is actually perfect preparation. It’s got nice roads and is a flat and fast race, and it’s always nice to win. This is a good sign for the Olympics,” said the extremely in-form Australian. Stage 1, Aabenraa-Esbjerg 1 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis 151km in 3.19.35 (45.39kph) 2 Michel Van Haecke (Bel) MrBookmaker.com 3 Andr Korff (Ger) T-Mobile 4 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) CSC 5 Roy Sentjens (Hol) Rabobank 6 Giosu Bonomi (Ita) Saeco 7 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) US Postal 8 Jeremy Hunt (GB) MrBookmaker.com 9 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile 10 Stefan Van Dijck (Hol) Lotto-Domo