Two hours after Lizzie Armitstead delivered Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team’s 18th victory of the season, Christine Majerus added another win to the tally. The Luxembourgish champion, riding with her national team, sprinted to victory in Plumelec, edging out Elise Delzenne (France) and Amelie Rivat (Poitou-Charentes) to win La Classique Morbihan.
“I didn’t have my usual teammates, staff and friends to celebrate with today,” said Majerus. “But it still feels good to win, and my national team teammates were all happy, too. It’s nice to give everyone a reason to smile.”
“It’s not often we get to race with the national team,” Majerus added. “We are not so many girls, and it’s hard to get the team together. I think it’s important to show off the jersey from time to time and to show that the team exists. I have to thank the team management for letting me race with them this weekend despite the home race in Valkenburg. I was really happy to read Lizzie and the team had won, too, so that makes it a little bit less heartbreaking not to have been there to help.”
The 102-kilometre race, formally a French Cup, is a second year UCI race in the Brittany region in north-western France. Having raced La Morbihan when it was a French Cup, Majerus knew what to expect as the race unfolded.
“I have good memories here because the year I raced it, I won the French Cup overall,” said Majerus. “I knew what was coming. Basically, the race today was 80-kilometre over land without any difficulties and then in the end it was three times up the Cadoudal, which is a 1.5-kilometre climb with a nice gradient.”
The race largely stayed together over the opening 80-kilometres. There were no significant attacks, and most of the riders involved in an early crash were able to rejoin the bunch well ahead of the circuit finishes.
“The first part was not that hard, but I think the bunch had a lot of respect for what was coming in the end, so there wasn’t so much movement,” Majerus explained. “In the end, several teams made it hard, but it really never broke apart.”
The peloton split on the final time up the Cadoudal. Although Majerus was isolated, she was confident in her tactics.
“I was just following the right people,” she said. “I had to be smart with my moves.”
The Australian National Team attacked twice in the final kilometre, but Majerus bided her team.
“I didn’t follow because I knew it was still too long to jump,” Majerus explained. “It came back, and then I kind of went on feeling. And it was the right feeling.”
Majerus opened her sprint at the 200 metre mark. Her kick was powerful enough to create a gap before the line.
“I was really happy to celebrate,” she said. “It was a good day.”
Majerus lines up her with Luxembourg’s national time again on Saturday for the Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan.
The one-day circuit race includes 10 ascents of the Cadoudal.
“It’s going to be a much harder day because of the ten times up the hill,” said Majerus. “But I’m happy about today, and my weekend is already good. Anything more will be a bonus.”