Optum teammates Numainville, Hall finish 1-2 in l’Ardeche stage 4

Alena Amialiusik is still the race leader by three seconds with two stages remaining

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Joëlle Numainville (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and teammate Lauren Hall finished 1-2 in the fourth stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche on Thursday.

They held off the field in a massive bunch sprint, with Tiffany Cromwell (Australie) finishing third in the 110.6-kilometer stage from Le Pouzin to Cruas.

Alena Amialiusik (BePink), who took the race lead after winning the stage 2 time trial, holds a three-second advantage over Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) in the GC standings.

Willumsen managed to put an early crash and an injured elbow behind her to finish safely in the peloton and hold on to her second place overall. The New Zealander crossed the line with a large swelling on her left elbow, and went immediately to the hospital, but thankfully the injury was found to be not too serious. Despite the pain, Villumsen led the peloton over the three climbs of the stage — the Col du Méran, Col de Comberon and the Col de Tribes — to consolidate her lead in the mountains classification.

Sitting in third, 12 seconds behind Amialiusik, is Cromwell.

The race resumes Friday’s stage 5 before it wraps up Saturday.

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