Christine Majerus backed up her win at La Classique Morbihan on Friday with a second-place finish at Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan on Saturday. Riding for Luxembourg’s national team in France, Majerus was isolated in the finale that saw Rachel Neylan (Australia) launch a late race attack and hold on all the way to the line.
“I was isolated and I attacked and still managed to get second best, so that’s fine for me,” said Majerus. “I don’t have any regrets. I had to play poker. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today I was second. Yesterday I won. It’s a good weekend.”
The Grand Prix de Plumelec favours a rider that can handle repeated ascents. The one-day circuit race covered ten laps for a total of 109 kilometres. The race opened with five laps of 13.9-kilometres followed by five laps of 7.7-kilometres. Both the longer and the shorter lap included an ascent of the Cadoudal. The course was expected to take a toll on the peloton with a high attrition rate lap-after-lap.
“I can’t really say much about the size of the group because I was always sitting on the front,” said Majerus. “I guess that some people dropped on every lap.”
“There were some early attacks, especially coming from the French riders, but nothing stuck,” Majerus added.
“Because I was alone in the finale, I had to make choices about the work I would do. I had to do more today than yesterday, but my win showed my cards.”
Majerus is a versatile rider. While she’s invaluable in the classics and can handle the short sharp hills that are synonymous with the spring, she doesn’t necessarily fancy herself a climber – yet she could hold her own on the unrelenting circuit.
“I felt strong again in the climb,” Majerus noted. “It was a bit all against me out there, but I think I managed pretty well.”
The Australian national team was active in the final lap, repeatedly sending riders up the road. Each attempt was neutralised, but the aggressive approach tired out the field. Neylan attacked just before the final kilometre.
“It was a smart move,” admitted Majerus. “I had to make choices, and I have to say, I didn’t really want to help France by bridging them across to Australia. I already had my win this weekend. If they wanted to win, they had to do it themselves.”
France proved unable to close the gap to Neylan. With the line looming, the remnants of the peloton appeared to be racing for second place.
“I opened the sprint, and I come pretty close to Rachel, but it wasn’t enough in the end,” said Majerus. “I’m happy with my form, especially with how I felt on the climb, and I’m happy with the results.”