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Emma Pooley (Great Britain).
Lotto Belisol rider takes 7th on Mur de Huy
Pooley, a former winner of the race, finished 13 seconds down on winner Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and in the same time as world champion Marianne Vos.
"That was one of the nicest Flèches I've ridden. I didn't crash," Pooley told Cyclingnews as she sat by the barriers atop the Mur de Huy.
"It was slow at the start but then it became faster and was more aggressive so there was just a small group at the end on the second lap. There were groups on and off the front and it was pretty active. I had my teammate Liesbeth De Vocht with me who looked after me and I just had to make sure that I was there when any major group went off the front."
Despite a lack of racing miles this season, Pooley had enough strength to initiate attacks, breaking clear on the penultimate climb before the final showdown on the Mur. However Pooley found herself crowded out at the foot of the final climb and that mistake would cost her dearly in the end.
"I had a dig near the end but it didn't really work and then I was swamped at the foot of the Mur and got swamped behind a few people. I felt alright but I just couldn't get around them. That was my own fault because if you're stuck behind someone then you've messed up a bit.
"It was still a really good race and Rabobank rode well and had numbers in the front group. Even though I didn't win I had great support from the team. I'm maybe a bit disappointed with my form but given the fact that I've not raced that much I can't complain."
One of her next objectives will be the Women's Tour, a major stage race in Britain which takes place next month.
"I'm still catching up a bit but I'm really looking forward to working for my team and paying them back at the Women's Tour.”