Tour de l'Aude 2008
A breakaway by two riders was the story of this hilly, technical stage on a warm, sunny and windy day.
After the second climb, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (High Road) and Charlotte Becker (Équipe Nürnberger) broke away. The pair were suited to make a break which would stick; Teutenberg is a fast sprinter, but is known for breaking away on tough stages with just another rider, or a small group and then winning the stage. Becker, on the other hand is a talented endurance rider and is strong in hard efforts such as this.
The pair were able to gain a maximum advantage of almost one minute, but were slowly reeled in by the bunch as they approached the finish. With 10 kilometres to go, the pair were 50 seconds up, by the time they reached the outskirts of Toulouges, the bunch could see the pair just up the road, but were unable to catch them.
Teutenberg and Becker 'hung' off the front of the bunch through the winding and sometimes narrow approach to the finish line. With 200m to go, they were only a few bike lengths ahead. Teutenberg accelerated after negotiating a roundabout, the final corner of the stage, and with 100 metres to go, she was clearly going to take the win. She made sure by powering to the 25 metres point, then sat up and took a long, deserved victory salute. Becker hung on for second. Monica Holler (Bigla) led the bunch sprint in for third place. Susanne Ljungskog (Menikini) finished safely in the bunch and retained the yellow jersey.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg - "I didn't think we'd make it, at 2.5km to go they were right on us. But there was a bridge that really hurt and I think that messed up the chase a little. I just put my head down and went as hard as I could. It seemed like such a long way. When I saw the 500m to go mark I accelerated and managed to hold it."
Ronny Lauke (High Road Directeur Sportif) "The bunch could see Ina all the time from about six kilometres to go. They knew she was out there, they knew they had to catch her, but they couldn't do it. It was really exciting. What's great is that Ina enjoyed herself. She loves getting away in breaks like that and seeing what happens."
Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result
General Classification Top 10 - click here to see full GC
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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