By VeloNews Interactive wire services, >Copyright AFP 2001
Mercury’s Baden Cooke won the sixth stage of the Tour de l’Avenir, a 193km stage that finished on a Category 2 climb in Gerardmer, France. Spaniard Juan-Miguel Cuenca (Kelme-Costa Blanca) held onto the yellow leader’s jersey, finishing 22nd on the stage.
The peloton reached the 3km final climb together, after reeling in lone breakaway Sergei Kruszhevskiy (Saint Quentin-Oktos), the last of many escapees on the day. On the final climb, iBanesto.com’s Russian Denis Menchov launched the attack, with only Cooke able to follow. The Australian Mercury rider, known more for his sprinting prowess than his climbing, broke clear to lead Menchov in by two seconds. Eladio Jimenez (iBanesto.com), second overall, took third.
Cooke moved up to third place overall, just 31 seconds behind Cuenca. Wednesday could see a shake-up in the standings, with the peloton taking on a 26km time trial course in Rambervillers. In the days that follow, the race will head into the deciding mountain stages in the Vosges mountains.
1. Baden Cooke (Aus), Mercury, 193km in 4:25:03; 2. Denis Menchov (Rus), iBanesto.com, at 0:02; 3. Eladio Jimenez (Sp), iBanesto.com, at 0:12; 4. Florent Brard (F), Festina, at 0:20; 5. Florian Ludi (Swi), Phonak; 6. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Bonjour, both s.t.; 7. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Mapei-Quick Step, at 0:26; 8. Inaki Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:30; 9. Jesus Manzano (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 10. Pablo Lastras Garcia (Sp), iBanesto.com, both s.t.;
28. Damon Kluck (USA), U.S. National, at 0:54; 44. Matt Wilson (Aus), Mercury, at 1:25; 78. Mark Fitzgerald (USA), U.S. National, at 2:39; 81. Ernie Lechuga (Mex), Mercury, at 3:35; 86. Phil Zajicek (USA), Mercury, at 4:39; 87. Danny Pate (USA), U.S. National, at 5:00; 94. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. National, at 9:18; 95. Jeff Louder (USA), U.S. National, s.t.;
1. Juan Miguel Cuenca (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca; 2. Jimenez, at 0:24; 3. Cooke, at 0:31; 4. Menchov, at 0:48; 5. Chavanel, s.t.; 6. Jesus Manzano (Sp), Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 0:50; 7. Francisco Lara (Sp), Festina, at 0:52; 8. Christophe Edaleine (F), Jean Delatour, at 1:07; 9. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Mapei-Quick Step, at 1:08; 10. Brard, s.t.;
20. Wilson, at 1:37; 24. Kluck, at 1:46; 55. Lechuga, at 5:54; 79. Zajicek, at 18:02; 80. Louder, at 18:29; 87. Fitzgerald, at 26:30; 91. Zabriskie, at 30:04; 95. Pate, at 39:33;