May 23/03 1:47 am - Tour de L'Aude: Stages 7a and 7b
Posted by Editoress on 05/23/03
Tour de L'Aude
Courtesy Team Saturn
The third to last day of the 19th Tour de L'Aude saw an early morning, flat and wind road stage followed by an afternoon hilly, mostly uphill stage.
With the speeds averaging nearly 43 kilometers per hour, the morning stage passed quickly. A short loop taking the riders from Montreal D'aude to Bram, the road courses its way through the scattered poppy meadows and billowing oat fields. The speeds were fast enough that any attempts at attacking were quickly negated as the peloton roared from one quaint hill top town to hill top town. In the final lead out it was Angela Brodkta streaking to the front for a well deserved German win. Second was Bertine Spijkerman over Australian Alison Wright. Interestingly enough, the top three places were won by riders that were 23 or younger. The overall GC remained unchanged with race leader Lyne Bessette and second place Judith Arndt rolling in to the finish with the same time as the race winner.
The second stage of the day got to a lazy start after warm 80 degree temperatures softened the eagerness that affected the morning stage. On the agenda for the second event was a fairly substantial amount of climbing up north to the village of Bram. On roads that wound around over hill and dale with lots of gravel a group of seven escaped. The major threats to Bessette's leader's jersey were Trixi Worrack (Nurnberger) and Sarah Carrigan (Power Plate Bic). The group worked effectively with Carrigan and Worrack setting a brutal pace. Saturn's Ina Teutenberg sat on, while behind nearly two minutes, Saturn's Katie Mactier, Jessica Phillips and Manon Jutras worked to minimize the loss time.
On the final descent to Bram, Carrigan escaped from the group and steadily put time into them, gaining up to a minute on the six chasers, and two minutes on the field. She soloed in for her second impressive win of the Tour, moving her up in the overall. Bessette's Yellow Jersey remained intact but with two more unmerciful days of climbing remaining, and the cushion seeping away, the Yellow Fleece is anything but secure upon her shoulders.
1. Angela Brodtka (Ger) German National Team
2. Bertine Spykerman (Ned) Dutch National Team
3. Alison Wright (Aus) Australian National Team
1. Sara Carrigan (Aus) Bik Powerplate