Tour de L’Aude Cycliste Feminin


The Tour de l’Aude Cycliste Feminin is the oldest UCI womens road race and will be running from 14th-23rd May 2010


Day One

This years 'Tour de l’Aude Cycliste Feminin' in France  started in Gruissan on Friday the 14th of May with a 3.9km Individual Time Trial Prologue. 
Dutch rider Regina Bruins from Cervelo Test Team took victory on the first day with a time of 4m 48s.  Second was New Zealand’s Linda Melanie Villumsen (HTC Columbia) with Dutch rider Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) coming third. 
Just missing out on a Podium position, in fourth place, with a time of 4m 55s, was Britain’s Emma Pooley of Cervelo Test Team. Other British riders were Lizzie Armitstead (Cervelo Test Team) who came 8th and Sharon Laws (Cervelo Test Team) finishing 16th. Siobhan Horgan (Esgl 93 – Gsd Gestion) from Ireland finished 90th. In all 105 riders took part in the Time Trial.



Day Two 


On the second day of racing (Saturday 15th of May) Lizzie Armitstead managed to jump 8 places on the leader board to take first place in the general classifications when she won the 117km Rieux Minervois stage with a time of 3h 14m 9s.  Lizzie took her victory as part of a sprint finish in a bunch of nine riders who were part of an 11 rider break away.  The final two riders in the break away came in 3 seconds and 6 seconds later after the main bunch.  The Pelaton was over a minute behind the break away when they finished.
After day two, due to the success of the break away, Emma Pooley dropped to 15th place in the General Classifications.  Sharon Laws was pushed down to 23rd whilst Siobhan Horgan ended up 93rd in the GC. One rider, Roxane Fournier (Esgl 93 – Gsd Gestion) from France did not finish the stage leaving 104 riders.
Sunday's race will be a 35.4km Team Time Trial in Clermont l'Herault which is said to provide an undulating course. 




Day Three



On Sunday 16th May, Cervelo continued to show their dominance of the Tour de l'Aude by winning the 35.4km Team Time Trial in Clermont l'Herault, rocketing in at 48m 5s.  HTC Columbia finished second, 35 seconds behind Cevelo and Nederland Bloeit came third. However Cervelo's victory came at the expense of Lizzie Armtistead who suffered a puncture just 1km into the race. 
The Team Time Trials radically altered the General Classification board with Adrie Visser (HTC Columbia) from the Netherlands taking the leaders jersey with an overall time of 4h 7m 22s. Loes Gunnewijk (Nederland Bloeit) also from the Netherlands moved into second place, with American rider Katheryn Mattis (US National Team) taking third.  Emma Pooley found herself in 6th position, with Sharon Laws in 8th place. Lizzie Armitstead fell to 40th position because of her puncture whilst Siobhan Horgan moved up to 77th position.



Day Four



Monday 18th May saw riders back on the road covering 110km on the Lezignan Corbieres stage.  The racers had to battle against a strong headwind, estimated to be about 50 or 60 km/h, which effectively tore the peloton apart. 
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Columbia) won the stage on 2h 23m 59s closely followed by Andrea Bosman ( from the Netherlands who was awarded the same time.  Carmen Small (US National Team) from America came in third 2 seconds later. 
HTC Columbia celebrations didn't stop with the stage win as Adrie Visser managed to hold onto the leaders jersey 23 seconds ahead of Loes Gunnewijk.
Despite the headwind Emma Pooley moved up into fifth position in the General Classifcation with Sharon Laws also moving up one place into 7th place.  However the real champion of the race was Lizzie Armitstead who showed her dominance in the race and despite Sunday's set back, she leapt twenty places putting herself into 20th position.
Sadly Siobhan Horgan, along with two other riders did not start the race.  A further ten riders did not finish the race leaving a field of 90 riders.

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