British rider Lizzie Armitstead won a second consecutive stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche in France on Thursday.

Armitstead (Cervelo) took the sprint win from a group of seven riders at the end of stage four of the race in Cruas ahead of Christel Ferrier Bruneau (France) and Grace Verbeke (Lotto Ladies) in third.

“In the final five kilometres today there was seven of us including Carla [Ryan], Sharon [Laws] and myself,” Armitstead said after the stage win.

“Carla worked hard for the last five kilometres at the front while Sharon watched the leaders allowing me to get into a good position for the sprint. Grace Verbeke started the sprint and I won it. The team was outstanding today and worked very hard and I really thank them.”

So far in the five-day race, British riders have taken three of the four stages. Armitstead’s team-mate Sharon Laws took the opening stage in addition to Armitstead’s brace of wins.

Laws is currently lying in second place overall, just four seconds behind Australian Vicki Whitelaw (Lotto Ladies). Two stages of the race remain.

Results
Tour Cycliste Feminin International de l’Ardeche 2010, stage four: St. Sauveur de Montagut to Crua, 129km
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Cervelo

2. Christel Ferrier Bruneau (Fra) France
3. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies
4. Ruth Corset (Aus) Australia
5. Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Lotto Ladies all same time
6. Sharon Laws (GB) Cervelo at 3 secs

Overall classification after stage four
1. Vicki Whitelaw (Aus) Lotto Ladies

2. Sharon Laws (GB) Cervelo at 4 secs
3. Ruth Corset (Aus) Australia at 1-29
4. Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Cervelo at 1-33
5. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Ladies at 1-43

Tour de l’Ardeche 2010: Related links

Stage two and three: Armitstead wins stage three

Stage one: Laws wins opening stage of Tour de l’Ardeche