Cooke out for Sun Tour win?

Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux)

Baden Cooke (Francaise des Jeux) (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

Baden Cooke celebrated his birthday with a win on day four of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, and the Australian will get the final chance to manufacture a time gap on his rivals in his bid to repeat his 2002 overall victory today. With no time bonuses available for stage wins, the time trial on Friday is expected to have a big impact on the final result of the general classification unless someone can complete today’s Tour of the Yarra Valley by riding into Healesville with a healthy lead over the other contenders.

Thursday's 140.9 km stage five takes the riders around the wineries of the Yarra Valley, starting and finishing at Healesville. The stage includes intermediate sprints at Yarra Glen and on the first return to the start/finish point after 108 km. It also features three hill climbs, the most of any stage - a moderate category 2 rise on Old Healesville Road and then two testing category 1 ascents on Mount Slide and at Chum Creek. Those climbs will also decide the King of the Mountains classification currently led by Japan's Makoto Iijima on 8 points, just one point ahead of Savings and Loans rider, Josh Collingwood.

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