Tour de l'Aude 2009
Lezignan Corbieres 116km
As was the case in the road / massed start stage on Saturday, a long solo breakaway was brought back into the bunch with just a few kilometres remaining. Then, it was up to the sprinters to do their ' thing' and decide the stage.
Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) waited until the foothills of the climb of Villerouge and then exploded out of the front of the pack. Her speed quickly gave her an advantage, which grew throughout the climb. Amber Neben's Equipe Nurnberger were attentive at the front to make sure that the gap remained manageable to protect the race lead. Team Columbia, sensing another stage victory, perhaps, were also active in the chase of Pooley.
The Briton managed to stay away for almost 50 kilometres, taking the mountains competition lead on her way over the climb, but she did not have the legs to stay away. Nurnberger and Columbia calculated perfectly and caught Pooley on the run-in to Lezignan Corbieres, less than 5 kilometres from the line.
Always a tricky finish, with a left-hand corner a few hundred metres from the finish line, there was a large crash involving the leaders. Marianne Vos' DSB Bank team led through the corner, but the Dutchwoman kicked a little too hard and slid out into the barriers. Several riders were involved in the domino effect which followed. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team Columbia) was able to avoid the grounded riders and finished a few metres ahead of a group of riders who suddenly found themselves sprinting for second place.
For Teutenberg, it was a record-breaking 17th stage win at Aude, the second in 2009. Following her over the line was Tania Belvederesi (Gauss RDZ), then Denise Zuckermandel (Germnany), taking one of her biggest race podium places ever. Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling) was fourth and Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo Test Team) fifth.
Amber Neben (Equipe Nurnberger) avoided the crash and finished in the bunch to retain the overall lead.
Teutenberg (Team Columbia) :“I was the only one to get
through the crash, so I reached the line alone. The rider who crashed slid
and took out a lot of the others, but luckily I was able to get through.”
Teutenberg paid tribute to her Columbia-Highroad teammates who worked hard
during the hilly 116- kilometre stage to reel in several dangerous moves.
“We collaborated with another team to bring back one rider and set
things up for a sprint. Then they put me in the right position.
With a team of just six riders it’s never easy to do everything but they
did a great job.”
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