Tour green jersey winner Baden Cooke is competing on Survivor

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Tour green jersey winner Baden Cooke is competing on Survivor

Former Australian pro Baden Cooke is competing on the current series of Australian Survivor.

Filmed in Cloncurry, in far-northern Queensland, this iteration of Australian Survivor pits two teams against each other  – ‘Brains’ vs ‘Brawn’. Cooke, a brawny former athlete, is on team ‘Brains’. 


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Three episodes in, that seems a safer place to be. Team Brawn struggled at the universal survival basic of ‘making fire’, and fielded a contestant that didn’t even pack a jacket. 

Meanwhile, an Instagram crochet identity is the only member of Team Brains to be sent packing thus far. Team Brains may have fire, but that’s not the only thing raging: in episode two, Cooke butted heads with teammate George, labelling him both “delusional” and “the fifth-strongest guy”.

He also tussled with Australian Football League legend Gavin Wanganeen (Team Brawn, voted out in a brutal tribal council, RIP).

Cooke, 42, had a 13-year pro career, most prominently as a rider for Française des Jeux in the early 2000s.

In 2003 he won a stage of the Tour de France. That year, he also won the green jersey competition after a sustained battle with fellow Australian Robbie McEwen, finally snatching it back off his shoulders in the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées.

After stints with, Barloworld, Vacansoleil, and SaxoBank, Cooke’s swansong was two years with Australian team Orica-GreenEdge. 

After retiring as a professional cyclist, Cooke retained ties with the sport, working as a rider agent, and as a co-owner of Factor bikes. As of June 2021 he is also the sales director at a cybersecurity firm.

The Australian is not the first ex-cyclist to find later-era fame on reality television. 

US mountain biker Gretchen Reeves appeared in the Amazon Prime series Eco-Challenge Fiji, alleged domestic abuser Mario Cipollini had a stint on Ballando con Le Stelle – Italy’s Dancing With The Stars – and Michael Rasmussen did the same with the Danish version of the franchise. 

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