Britain's Emma Pooley raced strongly to extend her overall lead in another tough day's racing at the Tour de l'Aude yesterday.
Before Cervélo teammate Sharon Laws made the running in the day's breakaway, Pooley split things over the day's first climb, the Col de Corsavy, ultimately dropping closest rival Adrie Visser. The Dutchwoman went on to lose 13 minutes by the conclusion of the 106km fifth stage around Amélie-les-Bains.
In front, Laws escaped with Katheryn Mattis (US National Team) and Nederland Bloeit duo Annemiek van Vleuten and Liesbet de Vocht.
Though the Briton was later dropped, the Nederland Bloeit pair were denied victory after taking a wrong turn while leading 10 kilometres from the finish, allowing Mattis to pass and put over a minute into them by the finish.
The American moved into second overall with her winning ride, but Pooley's advantage has now been extended to 2-45, after she finished sixth in a select group of favourites.
Meanwhile, Sharon Laws remains sixth overall, while countrywoman and teammate Lizzie Armitstead lies second in the young riders classification and 22nd overall.
There are still some tough stages to come in the hills around Limoux, but the signs are good for Pooley. The race finishes on Sunday in Carcassonne.
Tour de l'Aude stage five: Amélie-les-Bains - Amélie-les-Bains
1. Katheryn Mattis (Usa) US National Team 104.5km in 3-00-20
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 1-00
3. Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) Nederland Bloeit at same time
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 1-23
5. Emma Johansson (Swe) Redsun Cycling Team at same time
6. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo at 1-25
7. Evelyn Stevens (Usa) HTC-Columbia Women at same time
8. Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervélo at 1-38
9. Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervélo at 2-07
10. Andrea Bosman (Ned) Leontien.nl at same time
24. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Cervélo at 15-08
General classification after stage five
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo 12-45-50
2. Katheryn Mattis (Usa) US National Team at 2-49
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Redsun CT at 3-13
4. Evelyn Stevens (Usa) HTC-Columbia Women at 3-21
5. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 3-38
6. Sharon Laws (GBr) Cervélo at 3-40
7. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 3-51
8. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 3-55
9. Liesbet De Vocht (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 3-58
10. Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervélo at 4-13
22. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Cervélo at 19-37
Points classification: Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
Mountains classification: Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervélo
Team classification: Cervélo Test Team
Young riders classification: Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
Pooley climbs into the lead at Tour de l'Aude
Pooley up to fifth overall in Aude
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