How the race finished
Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx) took her first one day WWT victory in the GP de Plouay Classic Lorient Agglomération Trophée CERATIZIT ‘23, sprinting to the win from a reduced bunch ahead of Marta Lach (Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling) and Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ).
Full results are available below.
How it happened
Rolling out from Plouay in the early autumn sunshine, the riders were in for a long attritional race. At just shy of 160km with 2286 metres of climbing, the parcours offered a range of opportunities for different racing scenarios to play out. The race got off to an aggressive start, with team dsm-firmenich straight on the front pushing the pace.
The breakaway of the day was started by Susanne Andersen (Uno-X), who was quickly joined by Franziska Brausse (Ceratizit WNT). Karolina Kumiega (UAE Team AQD) bridged across, making it a trio upfront. The three riders worked well together to build their lead out to over 3 minutes by 140 km to go.
A more leisurely pace ensued in the peloton, with AG Insurance-Soudal-Quickstep visible on the front. The gap to the leading trio extended out to over five and a half minutes with 100km to go. It wasn’t until Lidl-Trek put their team on the front that the gap stopped going out and then eventually began to come down. Up front, the relentless rolling terrain eventually meant that Franziska Brausse had to let go of the other two riders.
With the gap down to under three minutes, but Lidl-Trek running out of riders to manage the chase, Jade Wiel (FDJ-Suez) instead attacked from the peloton. Despite it looking like a tall order to be able to ride across the gap alone, her move started a flurry of attacks from the main peloton. Canyon Sram // Racing and UAE Team ADQ both fired riders up the road, but nothing stuck. Letitzia Borghesi (EF Education Tibco SVB) found a small gap and made her way back across to Wiel, but the pair were brought back shortly after.
The intensity of the climbs of the finishing circuit saw more riders being shelled from the front bunch, as the gap continued to slowly come down. Cedrine Kerbaol (Ceratizit WNT) launched a couple of attacks, but was carefully tracked each time. Attacks from Movistar and SD Worx all also came to nothing.
At 20km to go, Kumiega found herself at the end of her energy reserves, and Susanne Andersen was left out front solo, still holding an advantage of nearly two minutes. After the attacking settled, Lizzie Diegnan (Lidl Trek) came to the front of the peloton to reestablish the chase, hoping to bring things back for her teammate Elisa Balsamo to have an opportunity to sprint for the win.
With the gap back under 1 minute, the rolling terrain once again drew out a number of attacks. A big move from Pfieffer Georgi (dsm firmenich) was shut down by Marlen Ruesser (SD Worx). Defending champion Mavi Garcia (Liv Racing TeqFind) tried to creep off the front a couple of times, but was closely followed, as was local favourite Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Human Powered Health). The high pace continued to eat into Andersen’s lead, as the peloton itself became smaller and smaller.
As Andersen was caught, Liane Lippert launched a big move over the top of a small climb. Quickly finding space as the riders behind looked at one another to chase, Lippert looked to be in a strong position. The chase was slowly established, but riders trying to attack solo also hampered the coordination. Five kilometres down the road, Georgi tried again, setting off a series of moves that eventually brought Lippert back.
A couple of late attempts to get away by Reusser were marked by Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Balsamo, but eventually a the group of 20-30 riders came to the finish together. After a hard day out, and with the road dipping down and then kicking back up to the finish, it was a chaotic sprint. Bredewold saw space open up in front of her and started her sprint early, managing to hold it to the line. After a strong team effort all day, Marta Lach took second place for Ceratizit WNT, with Sofia Bertizzolo edging Ruby Roseman-Gannon out for the third place on the podium.
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