Garmin-Cervélo’s Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armitstead are showing strong form in the Tour de l’Ardèche in France as they prepare for this month’s World Championships in Copenhagen.

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.

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.

Results

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

Brits

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

Brits

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