GP Plouay – sports director Anna van der Breggen calls unpredictable course an advantage

GP Plouay – sports director Anna van der Breggen calls unpredictable course an advantage

"A race that suits the team"

25/08/2022

For the GP of Plouay, Team SD Worx will field Elena Cecchini, Roxane Fournier, Anna Shackley, Blanka Vas and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak. Between 2017 and 2019, this team managed to win in Plouay three times in a row with Elizabeth Deignan (2017), Amy Pieters (2018) and Anna van der Breggen (2019). "This is a special race. The organisation often makes changes to the course, but it is always tough," says sports director Anna van der Breggen.

Linked race GP Plouay - Linked cyclists Elena Cecchini Anna Shackley Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak Roxane Fournier Blanka Vas - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Anna van der Breggen Danny Stam

On Saturday, August 27, the Classic Lorient Agglomération - Trophée Ceratizit will take place. The riders will have to cover 158.5 kilometres, including 2,197 metres in altitude. The course is characterised by typical Breton roads with tough climbs. New this year is the extended approach, which even includes some gravel strips. The finale features 2.7 local laps with 3x the climb of the Lezot (900m at 5.5%, 14% section) and 2x Rostervel (1,500m at 4.5%, 10% section).  

"I'm curious what influence the change of route will have on the course. I think it's more like the course the men had this year. There's even gravel in it."

At Team SD Worx, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio will not be able to participate. She has not yet recovered from the foot injury that caused her to leave the Tour de France Femmes. "With Ashleigh, we are missing someone who can perform well on this terrain. But the change of course might still work out well for our team. The course can sometimes be unpredictable. We should be able to take advantage of that," said Van der Breggen. 
"Our team was in the corner where the blows fall. Elena and Chantal have been ill. Demi Vollering, Niamh Fisher-Black and Anna Shackley fell hard in the Tour of Scandinavia. Cecchini, Van den Broek-Blaak and Shackley have fully recovered, but it remains to be seen how they will feel in the race. In any case, we will go to Plouay without pressure."

Memorable

"The GP Plouay can always go two ways," Anna van der Breggen continued. "Either it will be a sprint with a depleted group, or a breakaway will go to the finish. It depends on how much everyone is on the limit. If someone can pull through on such a steep climb, she can certainly stay away." 

That was also how Anna van der Breggen won the race in 2019. "Before that we had had a lesser race in Sweden. All the team was on edge and we rode really fantastic. We were attentive in front, parried every attack, then I accelerated on such a steep climb. I hope it can be such a tough race again this year. Even though the preparation was not optimal this year, if you choose the right moment, you can stay away. And when it comes to a sprint, Elena is a good candidate.”

3 in a row

Van der Breggen also looks back at the 2017-2019 period when this team (then under the name Boels-Dolmans) managed to win three times in a row. "This is a special race with a unique atmosphere. Those three victories in a row are memorable. When I won, Amy was on the podium with me. A beautiful memory. She had won the year before. This race was cut out for her. Such a sprint in a depleted peloton, Amy was really good at. So those three wins in a row will stay with me. It is a nice motivation to go for the best result possible this year", Van der Breggen concludes.

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