Tour de l’Aude: Mattis takes stage 5 and moves into contention
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tour de l’Aude: Mattis takes stage 5 and moves into contention

by Ben Atkins at 3:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Breakaway stage win puts US rider on the podium

Katheryn Mattis (United States) took the team’s second successive stage victory in the Tour de l’Aude, escaping alone to win in Amélie les Bains. She is also the second successive American to win this stage after Kristin Armstrong won here for the Cervélo TestTeam last year. The Nederland Bloeit duo of Annemiek Van Vleuten and Liesbet De Vocht finished second and third, a minute behind Mattis, celebrating what they thought was a stage victory.

Having been part of the break on stage one, and the first rider to attack in yesterday’s mountain stage, it was no surprise that Matts was again the first to make a move. The American, who normally rides for the Webcor Builders team, attacked almost immediately as the race hit the lower slopes of the 1st category Col de Corsavy. She was followed by race leader Emma Pooley and defending champion Claudia Häusler (both Cervélo TestTeam), Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) and yesterday’s stage winner Mara Abbott (United States). Häusler was dropped on the climb but joined by Trixi Worrack (Noris Cycling).

Mattis too was dropped in the final kilometre of the climb, but crossed the summit just 22 seconds behind the other three.

On the descent a round 25 riders regrouped, before an attack from Van Vleuten and Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) got a 15 second lead. Mattis, De Vocht and Sharon Laws (Cervélo TestTeam) bridged across to them and at the start of the climb to the Col Xatard Mattis and Laws got away together. Mattis dropped Laws, before she was caught and passed by De Vocht and Van Vleuten, and the two Nederland Bloeit riders rode in tandem towards the finish.

Unfortunately for the leading duo they were sent off course in the village of Pont de Reynes with 10km. By the time they were back on the correct route Mattis, unbeknownst to them had passed and now had a 53 second lead. The US rider continued to the finish alone, followed a minute later by the two Nederland Bloeit riders who, assuming that they were still in the lead, celebrated as if they’d won.

Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) led a small group in not long afterwards, making it 2,3,4 for the Dutch team, with Pooley finishing just behind her. The British Cervélo rider holds on to her race lead once more but Mattis’ stage win moves her up eleven places to second place overall.

Tomorrow’s stage will be a much flatter 100km in Castelnaudary, the main port on the Canal du Midi and – it claims – the capital of the southern French stew Cassoulet. The course features two late 2nd category climbs, which shouldn’t worry Pooley, but with the windy conditions that so often feature in this race nothing is certain.

Result stage 5
1. Katheryn Mattis (USA) United States National Team
2. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 1’00”
3. Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Nederland Bloeit
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 1’23”
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) RedSun Cycling
6. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam @ 1’25”
7. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia
8. Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam @ 1’38”
9. Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervélo TestTeam @ 2’07”
10. Andrea Bosman (Ned)

Standings after stage 5
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
2. Katheryn Mattis (USA) United States National Team @ 2’49”
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) RedSun Cycling @ 3’13”
4. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia @ 3’21”
5. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 3’38”


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