Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Feminin


Day 8  - Friday 22nd May 

Prior to the start of this years race Emma Pooley was regarded as a serious contender to win the 2010 Tour de l'Aude and Emma has not let her supporters down!
Characteristic of this year’s race, on the first climb on the 105km Roquefeuil stage, seven riders formed a winning break away.  This small group included Yellow jersey wearer Emma Pooley and fellow Briton and team mate Sharon Laws. 
As the race neared its conclusion, there was the usual escapes and captures within the group of seven, but then Emma made her escape, hotly followed by Mara Abbot, who Emma had worked with on day five.  However, Emma was not intending to gift Mara the stage win this time and she crossed the line first to stamp her authority as overall race leader.
This latest stage has once again shaken up the General Classification and it has given Emma an impressive 4m 42s lead ahead of her closest rival Mara Abbot (US National Team), with Swedish rider Emma Johansson (Redsun Cycling Team) taking third position, a full 5m 39s behind Emma.
Sharon Laws, despite being in the break away, dropped two places to 9th position, whilst Lizzie Armitstead dropped to 28th place.
One rider did not finish, reducing the field again to 80 riders. With just two stages left and with Emma's dominating time, it looks as if Emma might get her first win of the Tour de L'Aude.  If she does, it will also mean this will be the second year running a Cervelo rider has won the Tour. 



Day 9 - Saturday 22nd May saw the penultimate stage of this years tour, 112km from Aunat  to Limoux.

The race started with a technical down hill ride.  Team Nederland Bloiet worked hard to try and split the peloton and although there was a break away, Cervelo coupled with HTC Columbia and the US National Team worked well together to keep the peloton altogether and neutralise the advantage of the break away.
In a sprint finish of six riders, Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloiet) from the Netherlands took the stage win, just ahead of Germany's Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Columbia) and New Zealand's Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco).   However the peloton, led by Emma Pooley, was just 4 seconds behind the stage leaders.

Due to the tight control of the peloton the General Classification board was unchanged at the top with Emma Pooley retaining her 4m 42s lead over second placed Mara Abbot, and Emma Johansson remaining in 3rd place 5m 39s behind the leader.
Sadly further down the GC list, Sharon Laws dropped a further 6 places to 15th position, whilst Lizzie Armitstead climbed 4 places to 24th position. Two riders did not start todays race and one rider did not finish, leaving a field of 77 riders for the ultimate 90.5km stage in Carcassonne.



Race report thanks to VeggieVelo

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