Tour de l'Aude
Rieux Minervois – Rieux Minervois, 103.5 km
The riders started in heavy rain today on the second stage of the Tour. Taking a basically circular route from Rieux Minvervois in a clockwise direction, the first real climbs of the Tour were tackled today.
The race stayed together, riding tempo until the climb. A small breakaway went, but was unable to gain any real advantage. As the climb became progressively steeper, the road narrowed and there were more corners. A group went away, driven by the race leader and her team, Loës Gunnewijk (Buitenpoort-Flexpoint). As they went through the first Mountains Competition point, there were several groups on the road. The first contained several T-Mobile riders (Bessette, Bruckner Baldwin, Anderson, Arndt), eventual stage winner, Priska Doppmann (Univega), a number of Équipe Nürnberger riders, including Trixi Worrack, Edita Puckinskaite (Nobili Rubinetterie) and several of the Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team (Gunnewijk, Ljungskog, Melchers van Poppel). Two or three further groups had formed on the climb, but things basically came back together on the descent.
A further set of attacks on the short, but steep climb of Col de la Croix de Sous meant that the race was split into groups again, this time, the gaps created were sustained to the finish line. Some accidents on the run-in caused concern for the Univega and Nürnberger teams. Sarah Grabb (Univega) has a suspected broken collarbone.
The lead group sprinted hard into the narrow finishing straight in Rieux Minervois and it was Priska Doppmann who had the best legs. She crossed the line for a clear win over Trixi Worrack and Theresa Send (AA Drink). The race lead stayed with the Buitenpoort-Flexpoint team but moved from Loës Gunnewijk to Susanne Ljungskog.
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