Baden Cooke won the second stage of the Etoile de Bessége today after another hectic sprint. The Australian Unibet.com rider took the team?s second win in three days at the end of a tough 149km stage to Saint Ambroix, and with it took the overall race lead.
The Swedish registered Belgian team was once again forced to ride in the Question Mark jersey due to a legal dispute over betting companies advertising in France. But the jersey is proving talismanic after Jeremy Hunt won the GP de la Marseillaise when wearing it two days before.
After his second place yesterday, Briton Mark Cavendish finished in the bunch having worked for team mate André Greipel who today finished in third place, ?there was a dodgy last corner and me and Roger couldn?t do anything to help,? Cavendish said of the final run in to the line.
Riding in the white jersey as leader of the young riders category, Cavendish admitted to feeling the miles of the previous two day?s racing, ?I think everyone was a bit tired, I certainly was. One rider got away so it was quite controlled. There was a finishing circuit with a hill on it that was quite ‘grippy’, the last time up it was pretty hard.?
Of the final kilometres Cavendish said it was; ?tight, twisty roads with roundabouts and sharp turns. I was supposed to be André?s lead out man but I lost him.?
With two harder stages in the coming days, including category one climbs, Cavendish is now looking to make the most of his form and ?get the racing in,” although he confirmed that he wouldn’t be defending the young riders jersey.