Tour de l'Aude 2010
Stage 3 - Teutenberg increases her record to 19 stage victories, Visser leads
Lezignan Corbieres 110km
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC Columbia) won the sprint into Corbieres and in doing so increased her record of wins by any rider in the Tour de l 'Aude. It was also Teutenberg's third consecutive win on this stage, it was a record-breaking 19th stage win at Aude
Teutenberg created the attack after 14km, and she was joined by Andrea Bosman (Leontien.nl). The pair quickly gained a 17 seconds advantage and held on to their lead increasing the gap to 32 seconds, before being attacks from the front of the peloton threatened their gap. Behind the leaders the peloton had split into two, with 40 competitors creating a small group. A counter attack, from the Americans Brooke Miller (Tibco) and Carmen Small (USA) left the two with a hard chase to the leaders. At 30km, the leaders were were caught by Miller and Small just before the first sprint point. Miller (leader of the sprint competition) took the first points, After 47km however Miller lost contact with the lead group. The trio made worked hard and increased their lead to 6 minutes 25 seconds at 55km. At this point there was a reaction from the peloton from Cervélo Test Team. They were on their own in the chase, HTC Columbia with the yellow jersey on the shoulders of Adrie Visser, strategically sat back and did not do any work in the chase. Cervelo Test Team could not close the gap and by the time they reached the finish line the group, which was led home by Marianne Vos (Netherland Bloiet) was 25 seconds behind.
Always a tricky finish, with a left-hand corner a few hundred metres from the finish line, but the experienced Teutenberg was able position well and have a clear run to the finish line. Teutenberg had good length in advance of Bosman who chased hard to close the gap on the line. Small, finished 2 seconds back, not able to compete . on the sprint. Vos led home the group ahead of Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling). Visser stays in yellow for a second day.
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team Columbia) was very pleased with her performance, "The only problem was it was really windy today. It was blowing at maybe 50 or 60km/h and we were riding mostly into a headwind. It was crazy. Normally you get one windy day in the Tour de l'Aude, but this time it just hasn't stopped and this was the worst of the race so far."
The surviving escapees reached the finish with enough of their advantage intact and Teutenberg used her powerful sprint to overcome her fellow escapees. "Cervélo were working very hard behind and after losing one person from the break, we reached the finish with only about 20 seconds on the bunch," she said. "It wasn't much of a gap but we kept working together and we were totally exhausted when it was over.
"The final sprint was really close at first, but I was able to put some distance between me and the rest of the break at the end. It really made up for what had happened the day before."
Adrie Visser (HTC Columbia) had mised feeling about her first day in the leaders jersey. The race was a tough test, but it was one the Dutchwoman was able to pass with flying colours. Although weather conditions decimated the much of peloton, Loes Gunnewijk (Nederland Bloeit) finished on the same time as Visser to remain in second, 23 seconds down. Chantal Blaak (Leontien.nl) was a beneficiary of the rough conditions as she moved from fifth to third overall.
"It was a really hard day," said Visser. "But this is my first ever lead in a stage race and it's really nice to look down and see I'm wearing a yellow jersey. The stage had a really tough start, and later on Cervélo started to chase. But I had a good spot in the bunch and I could hold on okay.
"Tomorrow is a lot more mountainous and we're more here for stage wins than winning the overall, but I won't let go of the lead without a fight. Whatever happens I won't forget leading this race, either."
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