An untimely puncture cost Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead (Cervelo) the overall lead during stage two of the Tour de l’Aude in France.

Armitstead punctured just one kilometre into the 34.5km team time trial stage, and was forced to stop and change the wheel as her Cervélo team-mates carried on.

The 21-year-old from Otley had won Saturday’s opening road stage to take the leader’s jersey.



However, Armitstead finished three minutes and 45 seconds behind the rest of her Cervélo team-mates, who won the team time trial stage. The result lifted Cervélo’s two British riders, Emma Pooley and Sharon Laws, up the overall classification.

Dutchwoman Adrie Visser (HTC-Columbia) took the overall lead. Visser’s squad finished the stage in second spot behind Cervelo at 35 seconds, with Nederland Bloeit, Marianne Vos’s team, in third at 52 seconds.

Seven stages remain in the race, which concludes on Sunday, May 23.



Stage three: Clermont l’Herault, 34.5km

1. Cervélo Test Team in 48-05

2. HTC-Columbia at 20sec

3. Nederland Bloeit at 30sec



Overall

1. Adrie Visser (Ned) HTC-Columbia in 4-07-22

2. Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at 23sec

3. Katheryn Mattis (USA) USA at 40sec

4. Regina Bruins (Ned) Cervélo at 56sec

5. Chantal Blaak (Ned) Leontien.nl at 1-02

6. Emma Pooley (GB) Cervélo at 1-03

8. Sharon Laws (GB) Cervélo at 1-11

40. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Cervélo at 3-18

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Armitstead wins Tour de l’Aude stage to take overall lead