Lizzie Armitstead still in pole position for title as Marianne Vos wins stage

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Marianne Vos won stage four of the Aviva Women's Tour as world champion Lizzie Armitstead retained the overall lead.

Rabo Liv rider Vos powered clear of Liv-Plantur's Leah Kirchmann on the finishing straight in Stoke, with Wiggle-High5's Emma Johansson coming in third.

Armitstead finished safely in the main pack to stay in the leader's jersey, eight seconds clear of Cervelo-Bigla's Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio going into Sunday's final stage. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle-High5) is third, 10 seconds down on Armitstead, while Vos is fourth overall, 15 seconds back.

Vos won in what was a reduced sprint, with only 20 riders at the front of the race to battle it out after the bulk of the day's climbing was packed into the second half of the 119km stage from Nottingham.

Armitstead had attacked along with Longo-Borghini, Moolman-Pasio and Johansson with a little under 20km to go, catching and passing lone breakaway rider Emilia Fahlin.

But the chasing pack, including 2014 overall winner Vos, battled back and caught them shortly before the flamme rouge to set up the sprint finish.

The Tour concludes on Sunday with a 133km stage from Northampton to Kettering.

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