Cervélo TestTeam’s Emma Pooley won yesterday the Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale – ‘the ‘women’s Tour de France’.
Pooley was one of five riders to launch an attack on the first climb of yesterday’s stage. The Briton was supported in the break by two of her Cervelo team-mates, and the trio effectively countered the numerous attacks by her rival Marianne Vos, who was out to overthrow Pooley at the top of the table.
Although Vos won the last stage in Anglet, she only gained three seconds over Pooley plus a 10 second time bonus – not even enough for her to pass Pooley’s team mate and 2008 winner Christiane Soeder in the overall, giving Cervelo a one-two at the top of the final overall classification.
“I’m very happy,” said Pooley after the stage. “It was a hard day, probably the hardest stage of the race because the team had to work to defend the yellow jersey. When we ended up with three girls in a break of five we knew that the race was saved. The Grande Boucle is a really special race with a big history and I’m very happy to win it. My next goal will be the National Championships next weekend and after that the Giro d’Italia. I am looking forward to it.”
Pooley set the scene for what must rank as the biggest win of her professional career by winning the opening time trial. The Olympic time trial silver medallist then won stage three, giving her the race lead.
La Grande Boucle Feminine 2009: Final overall classification
1. Emma Pooley (GB) Cervelo in 7-24-36
2. Christiane Soeder (Aut) Cervelo at 22sec
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank at 34sec