Baden Cooke
(Image credit: Luc Claessen)

Baden Cooke won the second stage of the Etoile de Bessége today after another hectic sprint. The Australian 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.

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 

Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel