Tour de l’Aude: Pooley shows mountain class with stage 7 win
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Tour de l’Aude: Pooley shows mountain class with stage 7 win

by Ben Atkins at 3:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Cervélo rider shows why she is leading the Tour de l'Aude

emma pooleyEmma Pooley (Cervélo TestTeam) confirmed her dominance of this year’s Tour de l’Aude with victory on stage 7. After attacking on the long, hors category, Col de Dent with 35km to go, she held off nearest challenger Mara Abbott (United States) to win her first ever stage in the race. Emma Johansson (RedSun) outsprinted Pooley’s teammate, last year’s race winner, Claudia Häusler.

“I am lucky to have such a great team with me, “ said Pooley after the race. “It was a very tough stage but my team mates did a really great job for me. Beside me, Claudia, Sharon [Laws] and Regina [Bruins] were also able to finish among the top eleven which shows how strong team we have. I am proud to be a part of it. I am also happy that I defended my yellow jersey and I am looking forward to the last two days.”

The first attack of the day came after 23km from Tibco’s Emma Mackie, but the Australian only managed to stay away for 3km before being pulled back into the fold. On the slopes of the 1st category Col du Portel a group containing Pooley and Cervélo teammates Häusler and Laws, Abbott, Johansson, Trixi Worrack (Noris) and Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) pulled away; they were joined by eight more riders after 56km.

On the Col de Dent Pooley attacked, to be joined after 3km by Abbott, and the pair of them rode away from the rest of the field as they had done on stage 4. They crossed the summit together, followed a minute later by Häusler and Stevens, by Johansson at 2’25”, 3’08” by Laws and Worrack, and 3’30” by Vos.

Unfortuanately Stevens crashed on the descent, and Katheryn Mattis (United States) came down a little later, but both riders were able to continue. Pooley and Abbott meanwhile were drawing further and further away from the others on the 2nd category Col de Rives.

Instead of waiting for the sprint, in which Abbott has beaten her on two previous similar occasions, Pooley managed to escape from the American and finished 8 seconds clear.

With just two relatively flat stages to go before the race finishes in Carcassonne on Sunday, Pooley’s lead of 4’42” should be enough to make her the first ever British winner of the Tour de l’Aude.

Tomorrow’s stage will be 112km between Aunat and Limoux. With only one 1st and one 3rd category climb on the course there shouldn’t be anything to trouble Pooley. With the unpredictable conditions in this race though, nothing can be taken for granted.

Result stage 7
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
2. Mara Abbott (USA) United States National Team @ 8s
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) RedSun Cycling Team @ 2’18”
4. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
5. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Noris Cycling Team @ 4’11”
6. Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
7. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia
8. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 4’52”
9. Carla Swart (RSA) MTN
10. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Vienne-Futuroscope

Standings after stage 7
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
2. Mara Abbott (USA) United States National Team @ 4’42”
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) RedSun Cycling Team @ 5’40”
4. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam 6’51”
5. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 7’08”

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