Mavi Garcia Wins the GP de Plouay

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How the Race Finished 

Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ) took victory at the GP de Plouay, ahead of Amber Kraak (Jumbo-Visma) and Grace Brown (FDJ Suez Futuroscope). A small group broke away from the peloton for the final circuits, and it was Garcia who was the most aggressive, attacking almost every time the road went uphill. The other attacks might have broken spirits, but it was the final attack, just outside the final kilometre, that finally got her free: only Amber Kraak followed, and Garcia proceeded to overpower her at the line. 

The Main Action 

The day started with a large break. An attack from Georgia Williams (BikeExchange) set it up: she went solo, almost as soon as the flag dropped, and fourteen riders soon bridged across to her. The group was made up of Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo), Clara Honsinger and Sara Poidevin (both EF-Education Tibco-SVB), Quinty Ton (Liv Racing Xstra), Sophie Wright (UAE Team ADQ), Lea Curinier, Anna Shackley (SD Worx), Linda Riedmann (Jumbo-Visma), Eleonora Gasparrine (Valcar Travel & Service), Lin Teutenberg (Ceratizit-WNT), Evy Kuijpers (Human Powered Health), Sara Martin (Movistar), Flora Perkins and Alice Towers (both Le Col-Wahoo). Behind them, it was Canyon//SRAM and FDJ Suez Futuroscope who were left to chase, as the only major teams who’d missed out on the break; they kept the gap down to a manageable 1’30”. 

With 75km to go, their lead was under a minute, and, on the constantly undulating parcours, fatigue started to show, with Evy Kuijpers the first to drop from the break. With 65km to go, the peloton were within fifteen seconds of catching them, as they pushed hard on the climbs, with riders like Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ – Suez – Futuroscope) coming to the front. As the peloton approached, Sara Martin (Movistar) attacked: she quickly had a minute, with the peloton easing off a little. Behind her, the remaining members of the break were gradually absorbed back into the peloton. They were fully caught with 40km to go, while Martin still had a 1’30” lead. 

However, as it started to get more aggressive in the peloton, they started to trim down Martin’s lead. The next major move came with 30km to go: Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ) clipped off the front, and Amber Kraak (Jumbo-Visma) stuck to her wheel. A large group, with almost every team represented, followed: Audrey Cordon Ragot (Trek-Segafredo), Grace Brown (FDJ Suez Futuroscope), Juliette Labous (Team DSM), Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx), Ilaria Sanguineti (Valcar Travel & Service), Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM), Laura Ascencio (Ceratizit WNT), Sheyla Gutierrez (Movistar), Tamara Dronova (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss), Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange), and Gladys Verhulst (Le Col-Wahoo). 

In short order, they caught Martin, and established a significant gap over the peloton: it was now clear that the winner would come from this group. As they came into the final circuit, Garcia started to attack every time the road went uphill. The group tore in two over one of the climbs, but those behind managed to claw their way back on. Amanda Spratt tried an attack, but was quickly marked. Elise Chabbey set a fast pace, but it wasn’t enough to get rid of Garcia. 

It was, in the end, a late attack from Mavi Garcia that stuck. On a small climb, as they came into the final kilometre, Garcia attacked. Kraak, who was the first to follow her when the group formed, was straight on her wheel: behind her, the rest of the group just looked at each other. Eventually, Kata Blanka Vas came to the front to chase them down, but the hesitation had proved fatal. Garcia and Kraak had a small gap, and it was enough for the final kilometre. It was between the two of them. Kraak led into the finishing straight, but Garcia slipped ahead in the final metres. 


Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope) won the sprint from the chasing group to take the final spot on the podium. Ilaria Sanguinetti (Valcar – Travel & Service) managed fourth place, after clinging on to the lead group in the hope of a sprint finish. Gladys Verhulst (Le Col Wahoo) took fifth, with Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM) in sixth and Tamara Dronova (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss) in seventh, and Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx) in eighth. Juliette Labous (Team DSM) and Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo) arrived a few seconds later to round out the top ten. 


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