Current world time trial champion Pooley leads the race after winning yesterday’s third stage, with British national champion Armitstead sitting in second after three successive top three stage finishes.
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Pooley soloed to the victory in Le Teil after attacking from a leading group of 11 which contained the likes of Armitstead, Amanda Miler (HTC-Highroad Women) and Larisa Pankova (Russia).
Armitstead took the chase group sprint for second ahead of Julia Martisova (Russia) and Elena Cecchini (Colavita Forno d’Asolo), and now sits 2-11 behind her team-mate on GC.
Earlier that day, the pair had kept themselves in the running for the overall win by finishing third (Armitstead) and fourth (Pooley) in a short 3.5km time trial around Vals les Bains. HTC’s Emilia Fahlin won to briefly extend her lead over the British duo, however she lost 13-02 to Pooley in the afternoon’s stage.
Tour de l’Ardèche 2011 stage three: Vals les Bains – Le Teil, 96km
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo in 2-38-28
2. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo at 2-25
3. Julia Martisova (Rus) Russian Federation
4. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Colavita Forno d’Asolo
5. Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Belgium
16. Sharon Laws (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo at 7-33
36. Claire Thomas (GBr) Great Britain/France at 13-02
38. Penny Rowson (GBr) FOR- Viored-Brookex
49. Lucy Martin (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo
62. Sarah Byrne (GBr) FOR- Viored-Brookex all at st
66. Rohan Battison (GBr) FOR- Viored-Brookex at 18-05
General classification after stage three
1. Emma Pooley (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo in 5-37-29
2. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo at 2-11
3. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) at 2-20
4. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) France at 2-21
5. Amanda Miller (USA) HTC-Highroad Women at 2-22
18. Sharon Laws (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo at 7-52
33. Claire Thomas (GBr) Great Britain/France at 13-22
37. Lucy Martin (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo at 13-35
54. Penny Rowson (GBr) FOR- Viored-Brookex at 14-07
57. Sarah Byrne (GBr) FOR- Viored-Brookex at 14-12