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23rd Tour de l'Aude - 2.1
France, May 18-27, 2007
Stage 7 - May 25: Arques - Rennes Les Bains, 104 km
T-Mobile terrific, Vos victorious
By Greg Johnson
In a day which saw the yellow jersey holding T-Mobile squad working at the front of the peloton to ensure it maintained Judith Arndt's top spot, the German squad simply had no answers for reigning world champion Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) at the finish line. Vos ignited on the home stretch, flying by former world champion Arndt to take her fourth stage victory of the race.
Despite losing out to 20 year-old Vos in the final sprint, Arndt was nonetheless happy with her second placing, as the time bonus it comes with sees the German's general classification lead extend ever so slightly. "That was a great day for us," noted T-Mobile sports director Anna Wilson. "It's always fantastic to see how fast Judith can sprint."
Similar to yesterday, a small break of riders not considered GC threats was allowed to go down the road early on. It wasn't long before the peloton had brought back the escapees, with Ina Yoko Teutenberg (T-Mobile) again working hard at the front in an effort to protect the magenta squad's lead.
"Ina pulled hard at the front for as long as she could," revealed Wilson of the squad's tactic. "That was our plan."
But while T-Mobile tried to control the peloton's movements, Stage 7's mountainous landscape offered one final chance to pull off a race upsetting break: no GC contender was just going to let that pass. Attacks by Amber Neben (Team Flexpoint), Fabiana Luperini (Menikini - Gysko) and Maryline Salvetat (France) saw the pace rise within the peloton and soon after a 30strong front group formed as the remaining riders fell behind.
As the lead bunch reached the 104 kilometre stage's third and final climb, the Col du Paradis, ideas of a 14 kilometre break began to develop in some key riders heads. T-Mobile's Linda Villumsen and Kim Anderson covered most of the initial attacks, but a potent attack by Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), who holds third on GC, called for Arndt to counter. As the strong German pair headed down the road, Swedish rider Susanne Ljungskog (Team Flexpoint) and Italian Fabiana Luperini (Menikini - Gysko) followed suit.
The four riders pushed on and stayed away over the descent before an 11 strong Vos-led chase group swallowed them on the run in to Rennes les Bains. The lead group contained the top riders on GC, meaning the only noteworthy change was the extension of Arndt's lead.
"As well as Judith's fine performance, the teamwork today was again superb," said Wilson. "Everybody did their job perfectly and tactics worked great. The mood in the team is super."
The event now heads into a series of three sixty-something kilometre stages over the next two days, with the final stage featuring a flat 30 kilometres to setup a sprint finish in to Limoux.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Team DSB Bank 2.47.06 (37.343 km/h) 2 Judith Arndt (Ger) T-Mobile Team - Women 3 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Raleigh Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 4 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 5 Nicole Brändli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 6 Maryline Salvetat (Fra) France 7 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Flexpoint 8 Julia Martisova (Rus) FRW - Gauss 9 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Team DSB Bank 10 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Menikini - Gysko 11 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs - HPB 12 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) Raleigh Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 13 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 14 Marina Jaunatre (Fra) France 15 Amber Neben (USA) Team Flexpoint 16 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Menikini - Gysko 0.07 17 Fabienne Sandig (Ger) Germany 0.09 18 Tanja Slater (GBr) Raleigh Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 0.12 19 Claudia Häusler (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 0.15 20 Ana Garcia Antequera (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 0.33 21 Kimberly Anderson (USA) T-Mobile Team - Women 0.45 22 Dorte Lohse Rasmussen (Den) Menikini - Gysko 2.35 23 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) New Zealand 2.38 24 Serena Sheridan (NZl) New Zealand 4.24 25 Lang Meng (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team 26 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Team Flexpoint 27 Elena Kuchinskaya (Rus) FRW - Gauss 28 Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr) FRW - Gauss 29 Jennifer Hohl (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 30 Georgina Waibl (NZl) New Zealand 31 Linda Villumsen Serup (Den) T-Mobile Team - Women 4.26 32 Eva Lutz (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 4.30 33 Olivia Gollan (Aus) Menikini - Gysko 6.24 34 Andrea Graus (Aut) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 7.02 35 Charlotte Becker (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung 36 Marlyn Brinnendijk (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 8.26 37 Suzanne De Goede (Ned) T-Mobile Team - Women 38 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 10.14 39 Luise Keller (Ger) Team Flexpoint 40 Béatrice Thomas (Fra) France 41 Marieke Van Wanroij (Ned) Team DSB Bank 10.57 42 Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) Fenixs - HPB 43 Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Les Pruneaux D'Agen 44 Natalia Boyarskaya (Rus) Fenixs - HPB 45 Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Fenixs - HPB 46 Karine Gautard (Fra) France 47 Nathalie Jeuland (Fra) France 48 Fei Wang (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team 49 Miho Oki (Jpn) Menikini - Gysko 50 Debby Van De Berg (Ned) Global Racing Team 51 Sarah Düster (Ger) Raleigh Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 52 Helen Wyman (GBr) Global Racing Team 53 Sufen Ma (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team 54 Urte Juodvalkyte (Ltu) Lithuania 55 Maribel Moreno Allue (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 11.03 56 Janne Brok (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 57 Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 58 Marlen Johrend (Ger) Germany 59 Patricia Schwager (Swi) Raleigh Lifeforce Pro Cycling Team 60 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Team DSB Bank 61 Linda Ringlever (Ned) Global Racing Team 62 Kettj Manfrin (Ita) FRW - Gauss 63 Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 64 Iris Slappendel (Ned) Team Flexpoint 65 Maria Rosario Rodriguez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 66 Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Menikini - Gysko 67 Tania Belvederesi (Ita) FRW - Gauss 68 Angela Brodtka (Ger) Germany 69 Andrea Thürig (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 70 Erinne Willock (Can) Team Expresscopy.com 71 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) T-Mobile Team - Women 72 Liane Bahler (Ger) Fenixs - HPB 73 Anne Samplonius (Can) Team Expresscopy.com 74 Alexandra Sontheimer (Ger) Germany 75 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Germany 76 Lina Skujaute (Ltu) Lithuania 12.17 77 Fanny Riberot (Fra) France 12.20 78 Li Ping (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team 79 Carina Ketonen (Fra) Les Pruneaux D'Agen 80 Jaccolien Wallaard (Ned) Vrienden Van Het Platteland 81 Joelle Numainville (Can) Team Expresscopy.com 82 Melissa Holt (NZl) Team Expresscopy.com 13.38 83 Xiong Ying Ruan (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team 13.53 84 Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Team DSB Bank 85 Xiaoning Gao (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling Team 86 Marina Duvnjak (NZl) New Zealand 13.59 87 Agne Sukutyte (Ltu) Lithuania 18.59 88 Anke Wichmann (Ger) T-Mobile Team - Women 89 Edita Janeliunaite (Ltu) Lithuania 25.49 90 Silvia Tirado Marquez (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 26.30 91 Agne Miliskeviciute (Ltu) Lithuania 92 Céline Nivet (Fra) Les Pruneaux D'Agen 26.34 93 Amanda Shaw (Can) Team Expresscopy.com 26.36 DNF Olga Slyusareva (Rus) Fenixs - HPB DNF Carissa Wilkes (NZl) New Zealand DNS Zoulfia Zabirova (Kaz) Bigla Cycling Team General classification after stage 7 1 Judith Arndt (Ger) T-Mobile Team - Women 2 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Flexpoint 3 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung