Tour de l' Aude
Villegly - Villarzel Cabardes 56.5km
This early morning stage was a fast and furious affair. Taking in some narrow lanes, it was also not for the faint-hearted. Two laps of a 17.5km circuit took the race through the finish line in Villazel Cabardes, before heading off for one lap of another circuit prior to the finish.
Riders were lost out of the back of the race, victims of the pace at the front. No-one managed to open up a gap off the front, though until the run-in to the finish. With 4km to go, Olivia Gollan (Nobili) jumped and created a gap, with her went Oenone Wood (Equipe Nurnberger), Jo Kiesanowski (Univega), Christina Becker (Germany) and Suzanne De Goede (AA Drinks).
With the finish line at the top of a short, but steep, uphill section, the finish suited Oenone Wood, she was given a run for the win by Kiesanowski, but managed to hold off by a few centimetres. The judges took a look at the photo and awarded Wood her second European win of 2006. Finishing in the bunch, Marina Juanatre (France), retained yellow.
Present at the podium ceremony was relatively local resident, Laurent Jalabert, the French sprinter. It was perhaps fitting that he was able to help compatriot Jaunatre to put on the yellow jersey to be worn in the afternoon's stage.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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