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2008 Women’s Tour de L’Aude: Stage 3 - Stage 5
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 5/21/2008
2008 Women’s Tour de L’Aude: Stage 3 - Stage 5
 

2008 Women’s Tour de L’Aude: Stage 3 - Stage 5
Susanne Ljungskog leads the the Women's tour with 3 minutes over strong rivals Judith Arndt and Trixi Worrack.

The 2008 Women’s Tour de L’Aude takes place from May 16 to May 25. The race is one of the toughest stage race for women in the world. After five stages it’s Susanne Ljungskog, a double former road World Champion and defending Tour de L’Aude champion, who leads very comfortable over Judith Arndt and Trixi Worrack.

Stage 3: Lezignan Corbières – Lezignan Corbières, 111 km
105 riders took the start on a hot day in Lezignan. The only non-starter was Suzie Godart of the Fenixs team who failed to finish the TTT of a day ago.

The first attack of the day came from Kazakh champion Zulfia Zabirova (Bigla) and former world cyclocross champion Maryline Salvetat. But the break didn’t survive long, with the Menikini team of Susanne Ljungskog chasing the duo down.

The next attacks came from Nicki Egyed and Elodie Touffet; they also had little luck in their attempted escape as Team DSB Bank pulled them back. Attempts by Vicki Whitelaw and again Elodie Touffet got a gaps, but were chased down by DSB Bank. DSB is riding without Marianne Vos in this race as she is preparing the Olympics in El Salvador.

After the first intermediate sprint won by Monica Holler it was once again French rider Elodie Touffet who attacked but she found no more success this time than in her earlier attempts. Just before the second sprint Touffet attacked again this time with Emma Mackie (Lotto-Belisol) and Brooke Millar (USA). They had a small lead but in spite of the added talent faired the same.

After 72 km of racing DSB rider Adrie Visser tried her luck. She got a gap of 7 seconds but the bunch didn’t let her go either. A few kilometers later, another attack of Touffet came to nothing it was DSB rider Angela Brodtka who attacked and got a decent gap. Bpdtka's gap grew quickly to over one minute after 83 km but with less than 20 km to go her gap was down to just 30 seconds.

With 15 km to go Zabirova launched an attack and quickly bridged across to Brodtka. The two worked well together and their gap started growing again.

In the final 10 km Zabirova attacked Brodtka and the German couldn’t follow the Kazakh Champion. Zabirova won the stage with a 46 seconds lead on Brodtka. The bunch finished 1.01 down. Diana Ziliute took the bunch sprint for third place. High Road's Judith Arndt remained in the overall lead.

Stage 3 Results
Lezignan Corbières – Lezignan Corbières
111 km - 2.52.54 - 38.51 km/h

1 Zulfia Zabirova (Kaz) Bigla Cycling Team 2.52.54
2 Angela Brodtka (Ger) Team DSB Bank 0.46
3 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team 1.01

4 Gina Grain (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team
5 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
6 Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss RDZ Ormu
7 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
8 Tania Belvederesi (Ita) Gauss RDZ Ormu
9 Brooke Miller (USA) USA National Team
10 Magali Le Floch (Fra) French National Team
11 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Team DSB Bank
12 Martine Bras (Ned) Dutch National Team
13 Laure Werner (Bel) AA-Drink Cycling Team
14 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road Women
15 Catherine Hare (GBr) Great Britain National Team
16 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team
17 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Dutch National Team
18 Martina Corazza (Ita) Gauss RDZ Ormu
19 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team
20 Olga Sluyssareva (Rus) Menikini - Selle Italia

Stage 4: Osseja – Osseja , 101 km
Stage 4 is the queens stage, the women did 101 km between Osseja and Osseja in the Pyrenees. Judith Arndt would have a busy day with the team defending her leaders jersey.

In the first part of the race both Menikini-Selle Italia and Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung forced the pace causing a mass exodus of riders who couldn't match the pace of the back of the peloton. Near the top of the first climb a group broke away with the British riders Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws and Nicole Cooke. Linda Villumsen joined the break as the High Road representative. But the Menikini and the Nürnberger team joined forces and chased them down very quickly.

The next to attack was Olympic Champion Sara Carrigan (Lotto-Belisol). On the second climb of the day the catergory 1 - col de la Llose, it was defending champion Susanne Ljungskog who attacked the bunch trying to bridge up to Carrigan.

Ljungskog was riding very strongly and quickly bridged to Carrigan. In the meantime, the gap on the other favorites was increasing very fast. On the Hors Category - Col de Creu Ljungskog dropped Carrigan and continued solo. Carrigan was quickly caught by the main group.

On the top of the Col de Creu Ljungskog had a gap of 3.00 on the chasing group with the race favorites: Judith Arndt, Trixi Worrack and Nicole Cooke.

Coming into the final kilometers one after another of the favorites attacked out of the group behind Ljungskog but their efforts were unorganized and  too late to catch the Swedish star.

Ljungskog won the stage after the impressive break with almost a 3 minute gap. Alison Powers finished second and Emma Johansson as third all at around 3.00 down on Ljungskog. Race leader Judith Arndt finished as 11th at 4.20 of Ljungskog.

Ljungskog's effort took the stage win and command of overall lead from Judith Arndt who remained in  second, followed by Trixi Worrack in third.

Results Stage 4: Osseja – Osseja
101 km - 2.52.21 - 35.16 km/h
1 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Menikini - Selle Italia 2.52.21
2 Alison Powers (USA) USA National Team 2.53
3 Emma Johansson (Swe) AA-Drink Cycling Team 3.04

4 Nikki Egyed (Aus) Australian National Team 3.06
5 Sharon Laws (GBr) Great Britain National Team 3.12
6 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) French National Team
7 Erinne Willock (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 3.15
8 Linda Villumsen (Ger) Team High Road Women 3.48
9 Claudia Hausler (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 4.16
10 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Great Britain National Team 4.18
11 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road Women 4.20
12 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
13 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team
14 Tina Liebig (Ger) Team DSB Bank
15 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
16 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team
17 Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam
18 Sophie Goor (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam
19 Amber Neben (USA) USA National Team
20 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Dutch National Team

Stage 5: Toulouges - Toulouges , 112 km
The fifth stage in the Tour de L’Aude was won by German High Road sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg. After 112 km from Toulouges to Toulouges she was the fastest in the mass sprint . Charlotte Becker finished second and Monica Holler third.  Susanne Ljungskog remained in the overall lead ahead of Judith Arndt and Trixi Worrack with over three minutes.

Team High Road Report
High Road speedster Ina-Yoko Teutenberg kept the opposition at bay by a handful of seconds to clinch an impressive win on Wednesday in the Tour de L’Aude.

At the end of a 60 kilometre attack on stage five starting and finishing in Toulouges, Teutenberg and her breakaway companion Charlotte Becker finished just four seconds ahead of the field.

“It was truly spectacular.” commented sports director Ronny Lauke. “One of those wins that people remember for a long time. With ten kilometres to go, Ina had an advantage of just 50 seconds, but she managed to hold on by the skin of her teeth.”

“I didn’t think we’d make it,” said Teutenberg after the stage. “At 2.5km to go they were right on us. But there was a bridge that really hurt and I think that messed up the chase a little. I just put my head down and went as hard as I could. It seemed like such a long way. When I saw the 500m to go mark I accelerated and managed to hold it,” explained Teutenberg.

“The bunch could see Ina all the time from about six kilometres to go,” added Lauke. “They knew she was out there, they knew they had to catch her, but they couldn’t do it. It was really exciting. What’s great is that Ina enjoyed herself. She loves getting away in breaks like that and seeing what happens.”

Teutenberg’s move was planned from the start of the stage after High Road’s pre-race meeting the squad had decided to go with the breaks.

“She attacked after the second climb of the day, just when Becker decided to make a move as well. Charlotte’s a great time triallist, so it made sense to keep going, even though the wind kept changing direction and making it very tough for the two of them.”

“There was a technical section after the climb which suited Ina’s bike handling skills well and meant they could build up a big gap quickly on the bunch. It was close at the end, but she still managed to do it!”

Last year Teutenberg won the last stage of the Tour de L’Aude in a similar long, two-rider, break. 12 months on, she did it again - in similar style.

The sixth stage will be from Rennes les Baines to Axat over 117 km.

Stage 5 Results
Toulouges - Toulouges
112 km - 2.56.51 - 37.99 km/h

1 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Team High Road Women 2.56.51 (37.99 km/h)
2 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 0.02
3 Monica Holler (Swe) Bigla Cycling Team 0.04

4 Angela Brodtka (Ger) Team DSB Bank
5 Elke Gebhardt (Ger) German National Team
6 Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss RDZ Ormu
7 Martine Bras (Ned) Dutch National Team
8 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
9 Magali Le Floch (Fra) French National Team
10 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team
11 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Great Britain National Team
12 Laure Werner (Bel) AA-Drink Cycling Team
13 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road Women
14 Jennifer Hohl (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team
15 Amber Neben (USA) USA National Team
16 Tania Belvederesi (Ita) Gauss RDZ Ormu
17 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Lithuanian National Team
18 Emma Johansson (Swe) AA-Drink Cycling Team
19 Corinna Thumm (Ger) German National Team
20 Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Lotto-Belisol Ladiesteam

General Classification after stage 5 (top 20)
1 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Menikini - Selle Italia 12.39.48
2 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team High Road Women 3.39
3 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 3.55

4 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Great Britain National Team 4.21
5 Claudia Hausler (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 4.34
6 Sharon Laws (GBr) Great Britain National Team 4.56
7 Amber Neben (USA) USA National Team 4.59
8 Christine Thorburn (USA) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 5.46
9 Linda Villumsen (Ger) Team High Road Women 5.58
10 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) Dutch National Team 6.17
11 Carla Ryan (Aus) Australian National Team 6.24
12 Erinne Willock (Can) Webcor Builders Cycling Team 6.34
13 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) French National Team 6.35
14 Emma Johansson (Swe) AA-Drink Cycling Team 6.43
15 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung
16 Regina Bruins (Ned) Dutch National Team 6.52
17 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 7.42
18 Tina Liebig (Ger) Team DSB Bank 8.08
19 Julia Martisova (Rus) Gauss RDZ Ormu 8.13
20 Irene Van Den Broek (Ned) AA-Drink Cycling Team 8.16

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