Claudia Hausler tightened her grip on the overall with another strong ride in stage seven of the Tour de l?Aude.
The whittling down process that has charecterised the last three days racing in the Pyrenees continued as DSB?s Marianne Vos took the stage ahead of yellow jersey Hausler (Cervelo) and Trixi Worrack (Nurnberger).
The trio finished over two minutes ahead of a select group of 15 ? including Brits Nicole Cooke (Vision 1) and Lizzie Armitstead (Lotto Belisol) ? that had formed on one of the three categorised climbs spread over the 102km course from St Hilaire to Montreal d’Aude.
Emma Pooley (Cervelo) struggled having worked for leader Hausler on the opening climb of the day, eventually losing 20 minutes on the day.
Vision 1?s Australian came close to securing the intermediate sprints competition, holding a 15-point lead with 15 points left to play for, while Cooke still seeks the elusive stage win.
?We have four first category climbs tomorrow and five categorised climbs the next day,? said Vision 1 manager Stefan Wyman, ?so it is going to be pretty tough, but Nicole is strong and she is up there, so we will see.?
Stage seven: 102km St Hilaire-Montreal d’Aude
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank in 2-30-01
2. Claudia Hausler (Ger) Cervelo at 9secs
3. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Nurnberger Versicherung at 22secs
4. Emma Johansson (Swe) Red Sun at 2-55
5. Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs
6. Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1
7. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Columbia Highroad
8. Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Elisabeth Armitstead (GBr) Lotto-Belisol
10. Tina Liebig (Ger) DSB Bank all same time
1. Claudia Hausler (Ger) Cervelo 17.30.07
2. Trixi Worrack (Ger) Nurnberger Versicherung at 2-06
3. Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo at 4-09
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank at 6-22
5. Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervelo at 9-37
6. Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1 at 10-26
7. Amber Neben (USA) Nurnberger Versicherung at10-39
8. Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Flexpoint at 11-43
9. Emma Johansson (Swe) Red Sun at 12-19
10. Tina Liebig (Ger) DSB Bank at 12-50
14. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Lotto Belisol at 18-01
30 Nikki Harris (GBr) GB at 33-47
49 Helen Wyman (GBr) Vision 1 at 46-51
51 Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervelo at 49-18
55. Christine Hare Williamson (Gbr) at 52-39
74 Katie Colclough (GBr) GB at 1-09-52
76 Lucy Martin (GBr) GB at 1-09-55
78 Leda Cox (GBr) Esgl93-Gsd Gestion at 1-10-12
88 Alexandra Greenfield (GBr) GB at 1-34-02
Tour de l?Aude Preview
Tour de l?Aude prologue
Tour de l?Aude: stage one
Tour de l?Aude: stage two
Tour de l?Aude: stage three
Tour de l?Aude: stage four
Tour de l?Aude: stage five
Tour de l?Aude: stage six