Tour de l'Aude 2010
Stage 7 - Pooley dominates in Stage 7
LIMOUX - ROQUEFEUIL, 105 km
Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) secured another win and cemented her lead in the overall leaders jersey. Mara Abbott (USA) was second in the sprint and Emma Johansson (Red Sun) finished third.
There were a number of attempts to escape the peloton in the first 23km of the race. After 26km, Emma Mackie (Tibco) tried to go on the offensive but could not gain any real gap on the chaser. The race came back together at 30 km, as it reached the base of the Col du Portel. Claudia Häusler, Sharon Laws and Pooley (Cervélo), Trixi Worrack (Noris), Emma Johansson (RedSun), Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) and Mara Abbott (USA) attacked the front of the race and managed to detachedthemselves from the race. At 56km the leaders were joined by 8 other riders, including Marianne Vos (Netherland Bloiet).
At they approached the long climb up the difficult Col de Dent, Pooley attacked and managed to get away on her own. Abbott took 3km to catch Pooley and the pair quickly gained an advantage over the chasers. At 1 minute gap Häusler and Stevens were riding together, further back down the climb, with a gap of 2 minutes 25 seconds was Johansson. Even further back at 3 minutes 8 seconds were Laws and Worrack. The final one of the leaders was Vos at 3 minutes 30 seconds.
On the decent of the Col du Dent, Stevens crashed but managed to get herself quickly back on her bike . Mattis also crashed on the downward slope of the Coudons on a bend but managed to get herself up and continue with the race.
The two leaders continued to maintain their lead and arrival on the outskirts of Roquefeuil with 2 minutes 18 seconds advantage over Johansson and Häusler.
Pooley, was the strongest at the finish and won the sprint. It will be difficult to beat Pooley in the overall competition. She has a 4 minute 42 second lead over Abbott, who moved up to second overall.
Emma Pooley (Cervelo Test Team) was very pleased with her own performance and the work of her team, “I am lucky to have such a great team with me,” said Pooley. “It was a very tough stage but my team mates did a really great job for me. Beside me, Claudia, Sharon and Regina were also able to finish among the top 11 which shows how strong team we have. I am proud to be a part of it. I am also happy that I defended my yellow jersey and I am looking forward to the last two days.”
Egon van Kessel, (Cervelo's sport director), could not be happier, “It was an amazing race again today. In the first climb, seven riders went in a break away – among them Cervélo TestTeam riders Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws and Claudia Häusler,” explained van Kessel . “Then Claudia attacked but couldn’t get away from the leading group. At the end, Emma made the decisive attack and went away with Mara Abbott on her wheel. Emma won the sprint and took the fourth stage victory for the team. The last two stages have an easier profile but can still be very hard. We are confident and will give our all to defend the yellow jersey."
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