Columbia-HTC is approaching tomorrow’s GP Plouay with a multiple pronged attack, knowing it will be a tough race. The team expects a breakaway will decide the International Cycling Union (UCI) Women’s World Cup round, which has lead to its approach for the event.
Sports director Ronny Lauke believes his squad has the best approach to the event, "Together with Luise [Keller], Kim Anderson's win in the Route de France has really given a boost to Kim's morale, and Chantal [Beltman] is in really good form, too," said Lauke. "We've got a lot of riders in good shape, and that's the ideal way to take on Plouay."
Keller is particularly motivated for the racing, wanting to go one position better after finishing second at last year’s race. She hopes a strong result will enable her to secure a UCI World Championship spot on the German team for next month’s race in Switzerland.
The German national champion described the race "as hard as all the other World Cups, a real challenge. That's why it's almost always decided in a break, like last year when I got second."
The women will contest six laps of a 19 kilometre circuit before the winner is decided. The course features a difficult climb that usually ensures a successful breakaway.
"There are two big climbs on each circuit, one of which is really steep, about 500 metres long and with false flats after the summit. That sort of course makes it a wide-open race,” said Keller. “ The crowds at Plouay are always enormous, too, much bigger than at some other women's races, and getting that degreee of support turns it into a really special event. There's never a problem about getting motivated for Plouay."
Columbia-HTC for GP Plouay: Kim Anderson (USA), Kate Bates (Aus), Chantal Beltman (Hol), Emilia Fahlin (Swe), Luise Keller (Ger) and Ellen Van Dijk (Hol).