By VeloNews Interactive
Lyne Bessette, riding as a member of the Canadian national team, took over the lead of the Tour de L’Aude Friday, after escaping in a crucial break in the second of the day’s two stages.
The first of Friday’s two stages saw two riders escape early in a short 45km race between Castelnaudary and Bram. France’s Magali Le Floc’h (C.A Mantes La Ville) and Australia’s Sara Carrigan (Australian National) crossed the line 56 seconds ahead of Anna Millward, who won a field sprint for third.
After a brief break, the race resumed with another short 63km stage between Bram and Limoux. Despite the short length, the stage proved critical as a 12-woman break formed early. Bessette, who was in second place in the race’s overall standings and third place Judith Arndt (German National) were both in the group. Race leader Edita Pucinskaite (Alfu Lum) was not.
Bessette, who normally rides for the U.S. Saturn squad, joined forces with Arndt and maintained more than a minute advantage over Pucinskaite throughout the stage. With the lead two riders driving the break, the group eventually dwindled to just four, including Olga Slioussareva (Carpe Diem) and AutoTrader.com’s Julie Young
The four arrived in Limoux with an advantage of 1:24 over Pucinskaite, with Slioussareva beating Young to the line in a sprint.
Stage 7a — Castelnaudary – Bram
1. Magali Le Floc’h (F), C.A Mantes La Ville, 45km in 1:10.56(38.064 kph); 2. Sara Carrigan (Aus), Australian National; 3. Anna Millward (Aus), Australian National, at 0.56.
Stage 7b — Bram – Limoux,
1. Olga Slioussareva (Rus), Carpe Diem-Itera 63 km, in 1:34:25 (38.510 kph); 2. Julie Young (USA), Autotrader.Com;3. Judith Arndt (Ger), German National;4. Lyne Bessette (Can), Canadian National, all s.t.
Overall, after stage 7b
1. Lyne Bessette (Can), Canadian National, 19:25:59; 2. Judith Arndt (Ger), German National, at 1:20; 3. Olga Slioussareva (Rus), Carpe Diem-Itera, at 3:12; 4 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu), Alfa Lum Rsm, at 3:30; 5. Susanne Ljungskog (Swe), Vlaanderen T Interim, at 7:50.