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Cooke to Saxo Bank for 2010

Baden Cooke

Baden Cooke (Image credit: Shane Stokes)

Baden Cooke will join Team Saxo Bank next season. The team announced on Monday that the Australian had signed a one-year contract.

"Throughout the years I have seen good colleagues become even better and decidedly take a great leap in their careers after a switch to Team Saxo Bank, and I hope I can do the same," Cooke said.

The 30-year-old's contract came about through Saxo Bank Directeur Sportif and fellow Australian Bradley McGee. "Bradley knows me better than anyone within the sport and it is thanks to him I now get the chance to become a part of Team Saxo Bank," Cooke added.

Cooke did not have any wins this season for Team Vacansoleil, and only three the previous year, but hopes to change that. "I still believe that I have my best years ahead of me."

Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis called the veteran "a very exciting rider that we can expect much from. I believe the team can help him develop to a new level and I have no doubt that he would be a definite benefit to our troupe for the Classics."

Cooke turned pro in 2000 with the US-based Mercury Cycling Team. From 2002 to 2005 he rode for Francaise des Jeux, before joining for two seasons. In 2008 he rode for Barloworld and this year for Vacansoliel.

In his long career, Cooke won the green points jersey at the Tour de France in 2003, as well as a stage win that year. He has also won stages in the Tour Down Under, the Peace Race, the Tour de Suisse, the Tour de Pologne and the Tour Méditerranéen.