Marianna Vos extends her lead in the Friends Life Women's Tour after winning Stage four and there was an emotional finish for Emma Trott as she announced her retirement from the sport.

Vos who won stage 3 yesterday is now leading the general classification by 19 seconds and with one stage to go looks set to win the Women's Tour.

Giorgia Bronzini finished a bike's length behind Vos with Britain's Lucy Garner crossing the line in third place.

Garner is now in seventh place overall and has finished in the top 10 in every stage so far.

The two time junior world champion was pleased with her performance and her final position.

Garner said, according to British Cycling: "I’m really happy with that, I felt like I had quite a strong sprint at the end,"

"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’.”

Sharon Laws remains the Queen of the Mountains after going over the top of Post Hill in second place, but there was bad news for general classification hopeful Lizzie Armitstead who suffered a mechanical problem within the last four kilometres meaning she could only finish with the peloton, leaving her 30 seconds behind Vos in the yellow jersey.

Stage four finished in Welwyn Garden City, the home of Lizzie Armitstead's team-mate Emma Trott and it was clear when she crossed the finish line that Trott was emotional.

The 24 year old was in tears as she finished and she announced her retirement shortly after the race explaining that this event would be the last one she does.

According to Cycling Weekly, Trott said: “I’ve not said anything until now, but I’m retiring after this race, so today means a lot more to me.”

“I started thinking it at the end of last year. I love cycling, and that’s the problem. I signed a deal with the team anyway, and sometimes when you’ve had a break you can come back mentally. I was in New Zealand with my partner, and I didn’t really want to come back.

“Then I lost two dear friends of mine, and that changed my perspective on life. I went on training camp, and I didn’t want to be there, I wanted to get home so badly.

“I raced, and the feelings weren’t the same as they were five years ago. I’ve been a pro for seven years, I’ve raced for 14, and I’ve enjoyed it. I have no regrets.”

Trott admits her last ever stage tomorrow will be very hard but she is looking forward to getting up whenever she wants to afterwards.

She added: “It’s a bit emotional. I lost a friend at the start of the year, and he should have been there. I did the lead-out with seven or eight kilometres to go, and then I got dropped. So I rolled in – but it was quite nice to roll in in front of the crowds. I took the moment in, and I’ll keep it for life.

“I crossed the line in tears today. Tomorrow will be hard – the close of one chapter, the start of a new one. Monday morning is when it will sink in, I think. I won’t have to go on a recovery ride, I can stay in bed and get up whenever!”

Stage four result

1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv, 2:13:09
2 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda, same time
3 Lucy Garner (GB) Giant-Shimano, st
4 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, st
5 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren Kuota, st
6 Lauren Hall (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, st
7 Leah Kirchman (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, st
8 Aude Biannic (Fra) Lointek, st
9 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Specialized-lululemon, st
10 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, st

General classification

1 Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo-Liv, 9:54:10
2 Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS, +19secs
3 Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren Kuota, +22
4 Lizzie Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans, +30
5 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda, +31
6 Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Astana BePink, same time
7 Lucy Garner (GB) Giant-Shimano, +37
8 Hannah Barnes (GB) UnitedHealthcare, st
9 Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico-Faren Kuota, +41
10 Amy Pieters (Ned) Netherlands, st

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