Tour de l’Ardeche: Carla Ryan wins final stage; Vicki Whitelaw wins the race
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tour de l’Ardeche: Carla Ryan wins final stage; Vicki Whitelaw wins the race

by Ben Atkins at 5:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Cervélo takes five out of six stages but Lotto Ladies take the overall from

Carla Ryan (Cervélo TestTeam) won the sixth and final stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche between Saint Just d’Ardeche and Saint Martin d’Ardeche after a long solo breakaway. The former Australian time trial champion escaped at the second attempt, after just 10km, and rode to the finish alone. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau won the bunch sprint for second place, 56 seconds behind, ahead of Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus (ESGL 93-GSD Gestion).

“The tactic today was to attack on the first mountain,” said Ryan afterwards, “I tried and I didn’t really succeed, I just made it hard for everyone. Then, after another 10 km I tried again and they let me go and it was actually a long time trial. The plan was to put the pressure on Whitelaw's team and make it hard for them, but I didn’t expect to stay away.

“Egon [Van Kessel, the Cervélo TestTeam director] told me that we would go for the stage win with only 20km to go,” she continued, “and I only believed in the last couple of kilometres that I could actually win the stage. It gave me some confidence for the world championships that will be in my home country, and I am really glad that I finally won my first European race in my last race with this team.”

Ryan attacked early to try to force the Lotto Ladies Team of race leader Vicki Whitelaw to chase, but with the Cervélo rider more than 3 minutes behind on the overall classification the Belgian team refused to take the bait.

What followed was effectively an 80km time trial from the former champion, with the peloton keeping her within range just behind. The hilly course reduced the peloton to less than 40 riders, but no real selection took place and second placed Sharon Laws (Cervélo TestTeam) had no opportunity to escape Whitelaw to take the race win.

Ryan crossed the line alone to take her first victory at the end of a long season working for the team. Ferrier-Bruneau, building her form for the upcoming cyclocross season, won the sprint for second ahead of Majerus.

With Laws unable to attack Whitelaw, the Australian wins the Tour de l’Ardeche by 4 seconds; a morale boosting victory on the way to next month’s World Championships, which are to be held in her home country.

Result stage 6
1. Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam
2. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) French National Team @ 56s
3. Christine Majerus (Lux) ESGL 93-GSD Gestion
4. Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Netherlands National Team
5. Elodie Hegoburo (Fra) ESGL 93-GSD Gestion
6. Patricia Schwager (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam
7. Ludovine Henrion (Bel) Belgian National Team
8. Vilija Sereikaite (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team
9. Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) Netherlands National Team
10. Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Lotto Ladies Team

Final overall standings
1. Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Lotto Ladies Team
2. Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam @ 4s
3. Ruth Corset (Aus) Australian National Team @ 1’29”
4. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam @ 1’33”
5. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies Team @ 1’43
6. Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam @ 2’11”
7. Lise Noestevold (Nor) Norwegian National Team @ 4’17”
8. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Lotto Ladies Team @ 4’20”
9. Ludovine Henrion (Bel) Belgian National Team @ 4’23”
10. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) French National Team @ 4’35”

Points classification (green jersey): Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
Young rider classification (white jersey): Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
Mountains classification (red jersey): Ruth Corset (Aus) Australian National Team
Combination classification (blue jersey): Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam
Sprints competition (violet jersey): Vilija Sereikaite (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team
Combativité award: Béâtrice Thomas (Fra)
Team competition: Cervélo TestTeam

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