Tour de l'Aude 2008
Rennes les Bain - Axat 117km
In was the day of the National teams on Stage 6. The top three comprised riders not from pro teams, but from national selections. With three tough climbs, the route from Rennes les Bain to Axat was never going to be easy. However, there were many riders with team orders and personal ambitions attacking on the three gnarly first category climbs on a course which actually ran alongside the Aude river when in the valleys.
Sharon Lawa initially escaped on the final climb with race leader, Susanne Ljungskog (Menikini Selle Italia). However, they were brought back by an attentive bunch which had been reduced to about 23 riders. Laws tried again and got away with Dutchwoman, Regina Bruins with about 40km to go. The long run-in from Couzia to Axat was suited to the pair's abilities and they worked well together. With 15 km to go, Vikki Whitelaw (AUS) bridged across to the pair. They worked together on the road which rose for the final 20 km.
It was Whitelaw who proved strongest on the final, cruel slope up the Rue du 19 Mars in Axat. She convincingly beat Laws, who was giving everything to stay in touch. Regina Bruins has little more to give and finished 6 seconds down on the front pair.
The main bunch finished 47 seconds behind and contained race leader, Susanne Ljungskog, safely defending the race lead for another day.
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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