Baden Cooke Interview
Ian Melvin talks to Baden Cooke.
Ian Melvin talks to Baden Cooke. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
IM: You started the early season quite well in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
BC: This year certainly started off very well for me, both myself and the team were very happy with how I started off in Europe. These days wins are so hard to come by. The team is always ready to welcome them. I trained very hard this off season, as usual. I think the main difference was that I ran into fewer problems.
IM: You?re now regarded as one of the fastest finishers within the pro peloton. Are you conscious that your standing has altered within the sport? Do other riders treat you differently?
BC: Since the 2003 tour I?ve definitely been held in higher regard in the peloton. I am more well-known and have more respect. These days I know many more riders than before, and much of the time, I am given a bit more room when moving around the bunch.
IM: Who do you view as your main rival in the sprints and why?
BC: I keep a close eye on all the other top sprinters. I keep tabs on their form, their weaknesses and strengths.
IM: After a very successful spell with the Australian National team, you turned pro in 2000 with the US Mercury team. Back then did you ever imagine that within five years you?d have won the green jersey in the Tour de France?
BC: No, I wouldn't have dreamed that I would win the green jersey so soon.
IM: After two seasons at Mercury, you moved to your present employers, the French Division 1 team FDJeux.com. How much of an influence was Brad McGee on this move?
BC: A while before I signed at FDJ, Brad and I had decided that wherever we go, we would go together, hopefully helping each other to bigger and better things. It worked.
IM: How did you/do you cope with the obvious changes in culture between an American team and a French team? Do you enjoy living in
BC: As much as I loved the states, I never really felt as though I was racing at the top level, therefore always felt as though something was missing. I love my home in southern
IM: You and Brad appear to have a real understanding between one-another when you are racing. Is this something that has developed during your time in
BC: Of course it was a huge boost to have Brad looking