Tour of New Zealand 2008 (UCI 2.2)
Martinborough - Admiral Hill, 125km
Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) attacked Oenone Wood (Team High Road) four
times on the final climb before she managed to break free and secure the
victory on the stage and the overall leader’s jersey.
rolled out of Masterton for an extended neutralised zone and stayed
together until just before the first of the QOM’s at 31km completed.
Linda Villumsen (Team High Road) attacked and spent the next 10km on her
own until Sara Carrigan (Lotto-Belisol) joined her at the front. The pair
managed to hold onto their lead until the climb to Wainuoru when they
brought back in by the efforts of Team USA and Cervelo-Lifeforce.
not done though, she attacked again over the top of the climb and gained a
1 minute 10 seconds gap on the chasers and stayed away until half way up
the final climb at 6km to go she was caught. At which point Armstrong,
attacked the bunch and managed to whittle it down to 15 riders including
Team High Road’s Oenone Wood and Ruth Corset from Australia riding for
the locally sponsored Tabak Team International. Armstrong attacked again
and the bunch was down to a small hand full of riders. With another attack
the group was down to Armstrong, Wood and Corset.
They quickly gained momentum of the peloton that was stringing out
behind them in an attempt to stay in touch.
With 2km to go
Armstrong attacked Wood and Corset again and finally broke the two riders.
was16 seconds down on Wood the race leader at the start of the day and
secured the stage victory and the overall leader jersey beating Corset who
finished second and Wood into third by over 21 seconds.
jersey remained on the shoulders of Lorian Graham (Vrienden van het
Platteland) after she secured points at the QOM points during the stage.
Katherine Carroll (USA) retained her Sprint leader’s jersey as she won
the only sprint of the day after a lead out from her team. Carla Ryan (AIS)
retained the U23 jersey with her team mate Amanda Spratt(AIS) hanging off
her coat tails after a great ride from the two of them during the day.
Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) was
exhausted after her effort up the climb to win the stage and take the
leaders jersey. “Mama
mia” was her initial
reaction to the effort needed to win. “When
I attacked I was not sure that I could get away but there was one time she
had a gap on me and I know that when that has happened to me in the past I
have lost it so I took control of the climb from there. I knew I had to
take a risk, because High Road so strong out there today. My team worked
so hard for me today to chase the High Road attack that I knew I had to
come to the finish line first because of what they had done for me today”
Corset (Tabak Team International) was
very happy with her ride and pleased to have crossed the line in second
place. She had this to say about her race. “It
was very difficult for us today because we only had three in the team.
Sharon [Laws] and I were working in the front bunch on the climb and she
[Laws] managed to get to the front to secure some points but could not
quite get both of us to the finish, it was an extremely hard climb.”
Wood (Team High Road) lost
the leaders jersey today to a rider of world class standard. “Kristin
Armstrong obviously had good legs out there today and used it to her
advantage, she kept attacking me and in the end I couldn’t stay with
her” said Wood. Wood was asked if she hoped that Linda
[Villumsen] would stay away in a replica of her attack in 2007, she added
“I hoped she could stay away, she was only caught part way up the climb
so she really well and had an awesome ride today.” Looking at
the last two days Wood was asked if she felt the she could get the leaders
jersey back. “There is always a chance, there are still two days and three stages
left and they are all hard so there is definitely a chance to win it back,
so we will see what our plan is tomorrow” added Wood.
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