Tour de l'Aude 2010
Preview 2 - Overview and Stage Information
The first of the 'big tours' of the 2010 season, gets under way today in southeast France. The Tour de l' Aude is a tough stage race and tests the mental stamina of the teams, their ability to work together and the mid-season fitness of the riders.
Last years winners Cervelo Test Team have a strong team and will be looking to defend the 2009 title of Claudia Häusler (Ger). She has been rested recently and will be looking to win the event for a second year in a row. Cervelo Test Team had sent their strongest team ever and have signalled their intention to try to win this event for a second year. Cervelo, has many cards to play. They have other climbers, as back up or to mount their own attack on GC, Sharon Laws and Emma Pooley. Plus, Lizzy Armitstead who was won the young rider competition 2009 when riding for GB.
Team HTC Columbia do have a strong team and their formidable sprinter, Ina Yoko Teutenberg, if she wins a stage in 2010, she will become extend her position as the winner of the most ever stages in Aude's history. Teutenberg seems to like the hard rolling roads and long breaks and regularly features in a small breakaway which usually results in her winning the stage. She also features in the sprint finishes on the relatively flatter stages. HTC Columbia also come with a strong team, they have Luise Keller and Linda Villumsen, Evelyn Stevens, Adrie Visser and Chloe Hosking replaces Fahlin.
This year's event probably holds the best potential for a big win for Noris Cycling, they have a strong sprinter in Angela Hennig and a strong climber in Trixi Worrack (who has stage wins in Aude in the past).
The team that chose not to go to China may benefit from having not travelled so much;
The American team, should not be dismissed Katheryn Mattis is paying her first visit to Europe this year and is known for her climbing ability.
Marianne Vos (Netherland Bleoit) can never be underestimated, Vos has some strength in the team to support her, all perform in their own right too.
Red Sun Cycling have come prepared too, Emma Johansson leads a strong team.
Team Valdarno has their Italian World Champion Tatiana Guderzo leading the team. She can climb and will be one to watch.
Lotto-Belisol Ladies Team may feature but they are missing their biggest stars, Grace Verbeke and Rochelle Gilmore. Vikki Whitelaw is riding, she can climb and likes long breaks, she won a stage in 2008.
Fenixs and Gauss RDZ Ormu both field strong teams. In Fennix petrogradts Svetlana Bubnenkova is a proven climber and can stir things up on the bigger climbs. In Gauss, Martine Bras has already show great form in the early World Cup event to prove she has good form this year.
Team Tibco field one of the stronger climbers in the field. Australian Ruth Corset will be looking to do something at this race. She has a strong support group with New Zealander, Joanne Kiesanowski and fellow Australian Emma Mackie. Brooke Miller should do well in the sprints.
Leontien NL is not the strongest team in the competition but they should feature up on GC. Chantal Blaak is a consistent rider and can perform in the climbs.
MTN's performances have been mixed recently. They have a number of strong riders. Their postion overall in this tour may depend on confirmation of Nicole Cooke's position in the team.
Safi - Pasta Zara, S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox, Esgl 93 - Gsd Gestion, Vienne Futuroscope and the German National Team have a mix of experience and some younger less experienced riders.
Friday 14 May – Prologue / Contre la Montre Individuel : 3900 m - GRUISSAN – GRUISSAN
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