Reigning Danish road and time trial champion Linda Villumsen stormed round a blustery Gruissan to take the prologue of the Tour de l?Aude.

The Columbia Highroad rider averaged over 48kph for the 3.9km course to beat Regina Bruins from Holland by fractions of a second.

Top British finisher was Bruins? Cervelo team-mate Emma Pooley in 19th. World and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke ended the day in 25th, 16 seconds adrift of Villumsen.

Saturday?s stage, a 116km loop starting and finishing in Rieux, features one second category climb, should be more to the Vision 1 team leader?s liking.

RESULTS Prologue Gruissan, 3.9km

1. Linda Villumsen (Den) Columbia-Highroad in 4-52

2. Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervelo

3. Noëmie Cantele (Ita) Bigla at 1sec

4. Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo at 3secs

5. Ina Teutenberg (Ger) Columbia-Highroad

6. Amber Neben (USA) Equipe Nurnberger

7. Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank at 4secs

8. Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Ned) Flexpoint at 7secs

9. Emma Johansson (Swe) Red Sun

10. Trine Schmidt (Den) Flexpoint at 8secs

Other

19 Emma Pooley (Gbr) Cervelo at 13secs

22 Anna Blyth (Gbr) GB at 15secs

25 Nicole Cooke (Gbr) Vision 1 at 16secs

26 Nikki Harris (Gbr) GB at 17secs

33 Lizzie Armitstead (Gbr) Lotto Belisol at 21secs

44 Katie Colclough (Gbr) GB at 26secs

52 Alex Greenfield (Gbr) GB at 28secs

54 Lucy Martin (Gbr) GB at 29secs

59 Leda Cox (Gbr) ESGL93-GSD Gestion at 31secs

64 Helen Wyman (Gbr) Vision 1 at 33secs

73 Catherine Hare-Williamson (Gbr) Fenixs at 36secs

93 Gabby Day (Gbr) Vision 1 at 45secs

105 Emma Silversides (Gbr) Lotto Belisol at 1min 10secs

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