Third for Garner on stage four of The Women's Tour

Third for Garner on stage four of The Women's Tour

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Great Britain's Lucy Garner took third in a sprint finish on stage four of The Friends Life Women’s Tour to move up to seventh in the general classification.

Garner maintained her record of finishing in the top 10 of every stage as world champion Marianne Vos won the 87.8-kilometre race from Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City - her second consecutive stage victory - to extend her overall lead.

"I’m really happy with that, I felt like I had quite a strong sprint at the end," Garner, 19, said.

Garner is 37 seconds behind Vos with one stage remaining on Sunday.

Great Britain entered the day one rider short after Emily Kay was forced to withdraw from the race after a heavy crash on stage two.

Ciara Horne launched an early break on her own and collected six points on the first Queen of the Mountains at the summit of Post Hill before being caught. Horne now lies fourth in the classification with fellow Brit Sharon Laws holding on to the jersey.

Emma Pooley then went on successive attacks. The 2010 world time-trial champion initially broke away after the Post Hill climb in a small group before being reined in by the bunch.

She went again just before Buntingford and was joined by Chantal Blaak, Janel Holcomb, Annemiek van Vleuten, Gracie Elvin and Katarzyna Pawlowska.

But the group was brought back shortly before the race was neutralised 20km from the finish due a traffic incident that had occurred prior to the race.

Teams then set up for the sprint finish with double junior world champion Garner again in the mix.

"There was a bit of carnage at the last corner," Garner added. Marianne (Vos) and (Georgina) Bronzini managed to get through then there was a group of us who were thinking ‘it’s tighter than we thought’.”

The inaugural Women's Tour ends on Sunday with a 108.3-kilometre stage from Harwich to Bury St Edmunds.

Stage four result

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