Brand secures win at GP de Plouay-Bretagne

Rabo-Liv teammates Vos and Ferrand Prevot round out podium

With Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) having tied up the Road World Cup victory at last week's Crescent Vårgårda, the last round of the series was all about a final attempt at glory, as the peloton faced the tough, hilly course.

The GP Plouay is always a dramatic finish to the World Cup series, with a course that changes regularly, but always includes short, punchy climbs and descents that are perfect for attacks. This year it was 121.5km, four laps of 27km with three climbs each, then a last loop missing out the northern part but keeping the two steepest climbs, including the Côte de Ty-Marrec 4km from the end.

All eyes were on Rabobank-Liv, as Marianne Vos had won here in 2012 and 2013, and been a major factor in her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten's win in 2011 – but the Dutch team blew these expectations out of the water. The question had been who they'd ride for, and they answered this with an all Rabo podium, Lucinda Brand winning solo ahead of Vos and Ferrand-Prévot, Van der Breggen coming fifth.

Brand had been especially active in this race, fighting with and against Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon) forcing breaks and splits, so that by the last 35km there were just 20 riders in front. This was whittled down to an elite group of champions, with Rabo always over-represented, four in a group of ten, then, when Brand and Cromwell seemed like they’d been finally dropped in the last 7km, three in a group of seven – Vos, Van der Breggen and Ferrand-Prévot against Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products), Armitstead, Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico-Faren) and World Cup Queen of the Mountains Alena Amialiusik (Astana-BePink).

But Brand and Cromwell would not give up, and when the pair caught that front group one last time, Brand didn't pause to draw breath, but attacked again, this time getting clear, with her lead quickly getting up to 48 seconds.

This was the point the race was lost for the others, as fear of exhausting themselves to help the Rabo's attack later, or just plain exhaustion meant the chase wasn't coordinated. Although Brand suffered and lost time on the final climb, she made it to the finish solo for the biggest win of her career. This has been a spectacular 2014 for the 25-year-old Dutchwoman, supporting her team-mates throughout the year, and in return having team support to win her first stage race, the Energiewacht Tour in April, and now her first World Cup.

Armitstead, Longo Borghini and Johansson all attacked out of the chase to try to catch Brand, or slip away for the podium, but the group came to the finish together, Vos out-sprinting the opposition as only she can, with Ferrand-Prévot on her wheel – the perfect finish to the World Cup for the team that has consistently animated the races.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team3:08:26 
2Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:56 
3Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
4Rossella Ratto (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
5Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
6Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica - AIS  
7Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products  
8Elizabeth Armitstead (Gbr) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
9Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized - Lululemon  
11Audrey Cordon (Fra) Hitec Products0:02:57 
12Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
13Megan Guarnier (Usa) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
14Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Orica - AIS  
15Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Rsa) Hitec Products  
16Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano  
17Jessie Daams (Bel) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
18Evelyn Stevens (Usa) Specialized - Lululemon  
19Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
20Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team  
21Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Alé Cipollini0:04:57 
22Leah Kirchmann (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
23Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
24Elise Delzenne (Fra) Specialized - Lululemon  
25Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Esp) Lointek  
26Irene San Sebastian Lasa (Esp) Bizkaia - Durango  
27Lauren Hall (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
28Joanne Kiesanowski (Nzl) Tibco / To The Top  
29Elena Valentini (Ita) BTC City Ljubljana  
30Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
31Tayler Wiles (Usa) Specialized - Lululemon  
32Eugénie Duval (Fra) France  
33Lara Vieceli (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox  
34Edwige Pitel (Fra) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox  
35Amy Pieters (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
36Belen Lopez Morales (Esp) Lointek  
37Lieselot Decroix (Bel) Belgium  
38Annelies Van Doorslaer (Bel) Belgium  
39Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Esp) Alé Cipollini  
40Melodie Lesueur (Fra) Lointek  
41Janel Holcomb (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
42Oxana Kozonchuk (Rus) RusVelo  
43Lucie Pader (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope  
44Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
45Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox  
46Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS  
47Carlee Taylor (Aus) Orica - AIS  
48Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) RusVelo  
49Sara Olsson (Swe) Hitec Products  
50Dalia Muccioli (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
51Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Esp) Bizkaia - Durango  
52Ursa Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
53Tetiana Riabchenko (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox  
54Jade Wilcoxson (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
55Uenia Fernandes Da Souza (Bra) Estado de Mexico Faren  
56Andrea Dvorak (Usa) Tibco / To The Top  
57Julie Bresset (Fra) France  
58Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana  
59Amélie Rivat (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope  
60Anna Potokina (Rus) Servetto Footon  
61Sarah Roy (Aus) Vienne Futuroscope  
62Anna Trevisi (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
63Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano  
64Elena Cecchini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren  
65Doris Schweizer (Sui) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
66Elena Berlato (Ita) Alé Cipollini  
67Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Specialized - Lululemon  
68Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Tibco / To The Top  
69Natalia Boyarskaya (Rus) Servetto Footon  
70Elena Kuchinskaya (Rus) RusVelo  
71Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Estado de Mexico Faren0:05:01 
72Fanny Leleu (Fra) France0:05:17 
73Brianna Walle (Usa) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
74Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
75Anastasiya Chulkova (Rus) RusVelo0:05:27 
76Kseniya Tuhai (Blr) Astana Bepink Womens Team0:12:08 
77Kelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Belgium  
78Yulia Blindyuk (Rus) RusVelo  
79Lierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Esp) Bizkaia - Durango  
80Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
81Špela Kern (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
82Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Belgium  
83Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Esp) Lointek  
84Patricia Schwager (Sui) Tibco / To The Top  
85Martina Ritter (Aut) BTC City Ljubljana  
86Marijn De Vries (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFGracie Elvin (Aus) Orica - AIS  
DNFAmanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AIS  
DNFChloe Hosking (Aus) Hitec Products  
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products  
DNFEyerusalem Kelil (Eth) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox  
DNFAzzurra D'intino (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox  
DNFAmanda Miller (Usa) Tibco / To The Top  
DNFLauren Stephens (Usa) Tibco / To The Top  
DNFKatarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team  
DNFAnnie Ewart (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFOriane Chaumet (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope  
DNFCharlotte Bravard (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope  
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Vienne Futuroscope  
DNFAizhan Zhaparova (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFAlice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Astana Bepink Womens Team  
DNFElisabet Bru (Esp) Servetto Footon  
DNFMarina Likhanova (Rus) Servetto Footon  
DNFAna Teresa Casas Bonilla (Mex) Estado de Mexico Faren  
DNFDorleta Eskamendi Gil (Esp) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFClemilda Fernandes Silva (Bra) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFYulia Ilinykh (Rus) Bizkaia - Durango  
DNFMélanie Bravard (Fra)  
DNFAnabelle Dreville (Fra)  
DNFSéverine Eraud (Fra)  
DNFSofie De Vuyst (Bel) Futurumshop.Nl - Zannata  
DNFValerie Demey (Bel)  
DNFAlicia Gonzalez Blanco (Esp) Lointek  
DNFEider Merino Kortazar (Esp) Lointek  
DNFFloortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
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